Pasta Primavera with Shrimp
This version of pasta primavera combines your favorite cut of pasta with tender shrimp, fresh asparagus, peas, and a light garlic wine sauce.
The Italian word “primavera” translates to “spring” in English, so in the literal sense, Pasta Primavera is simply a dish that combines fresh spring vegetables and pasta in a sauce that lightly coats the ingredients.
Our take on this simple springtime dish combines shrimp, asparagus, peas, and cavatappi (corkscrew pasta) with a light sauce made with onion, garlic, and white wine.
- 3/4 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails left on)
- 10 ounces pasta (cavatappi, rotini, penne)
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 4 to 6 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup frozen peas (preferably petite)
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until barely golden, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up any browned bits that may have accumulated on the bottom.
- Reduce the heat to low to keep warm and set aside.
- Add the shrimp to the boiling pasta water and cook just until pink and opaque, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a plate and set aside.
- Bring the water back to a rolling boil and add the pasta. (Don't worry about the water being cloudy from the shrimp. It will add a little extra flavor to the pasta.)
- Cook until the pasta is tender, reserve about 3/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain.
- Return the pasta to the pot. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, toss to coat and set aside.
- Add the asparagus and about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the onion-garlic mixture. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the asparagus is tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the peas, cook for 1 minute additional, then add the pasta, shrimp, and another2 to 4 tablespoons of the pasta water.
- Combine well and continue cooking until all the ingredients are heated through.
- Sprinkle with the chopped parsley, combine well, taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.