Spring Pasta in Autumn

Pasta Primavera, the classic Italian-American dish that consists of pasta and fresh vegetables, the crisp new vegetables of Spring. It’s only Autumn in Oz but I can’t wait for Spring to have those broad beans available now. This pasta Primavera was a labour of love as preparing broad beans can take a while. Broad beans, unlike other veggies which are available all-year round, have a distinct season. They’re in the shops from winter to spring. They come as big, puffy pods. When they are small, you can eat them whole but when they become bigger, from 6 to 10 inches long, you need to peel the pods to get to the beans and then peel the beans again, a second time. Blanching the beans for 30 seconds in boiling water is the way to do it. Bring the water to a boil, throw in the beans and let the water come to a boil again. To prepare a side dish for 3-4, the process might take you about 15-20 minutes. But it’s well worth it because once you have shelled the beans, you will end up with these glossy little broad green beans that cook in a few minutes. And these tiny beans are so much nicer than the tough outer beansMeat was added to this dish but the focus should be in the fresh vegetables, light flavours and aromatic herbs. I used quail medallions, crispy bits of prosciutto, asparagus, broad beans, garden peas and chervil.If broad beans are unavailable, try adding some sautéed zucchini instead. Chervil (French parsley) is a delicate annual herb and perfect to use for light-flavoured dishes like this. However, if you want a bit more zing to it, a few chopped basil sprigs will work fine as well.Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 cm pieces
  • 1 cup broad beans
  • 300g farfalle or bow ties (to serve 3-4)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 300-400g quail medallions
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • pinch chilli flakes (optional)
  • 5 slices of prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 cup peas (fresh frozen is ok)
  • 1/2 cup chopped chervil (or basil)
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • grated parmesan cheese to serve


1.   Blanch and peel broad beans. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add asparagus and peas; cook for 2-3 minutes and drain. Set aside beans, asparagus and peas. Meanwhile cook pasta according to packet directions.

2.   Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook quail for 3 minutes each side or according to your liking. Remove and set aside.

3.   Add garlic and chilli to the same pan and heat gently until fragrant. Add prosciutto and cook until crisp. Stir in reserved quail and vegetables.4.   Toss through hot pasta, herbs and a good splash of olive oil to coat pasta. 5.   Divide among pasta bowls and top with freshly grated parmesan.I like a bit of pepper in my food, season lightly if you wish. Enjoy!Recipe from Game Farm Quail and Poussin Recipes

This entry was published on May 20, 2012 at 9:42 am. It’s filed under cooking, food, Quick Meals, recipes, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

10 thoughts on “Spring Pasta in Autumn

  1. Wonderful looking pasta dish. Your pictures are great with this post.

  2. Beautiful as always– I.m thinking a nice NZ Pinot Noir from Craggy Range to go with this dish.

    Love the use of the farfalle which I find has an awesome al dente texture around the “knot”.

  3. I love bow tie pasta 😀

  4. Pingback: Spreading the Love… | Lilly Sue's Bites and Brews

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