Classic pasta primavera consists of fresh vegetables with pasta in a light sauce. If you search for a pasta primavera recipe on the internet you will find thousands. The typical recipes include various vegetables – broccoli, green peas, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, peppers – and if protein is added it is usually chicken or shrimp. I can’t count how many times this dish has been offered to me as the vegetarian option at a catered meal. It makes sense – it is a very simple, inexpensive and quick dish to make, and can be quite tasty. Unfortunately, I’ve had to experience the versions made with frozen produce but also have had those made with fresh ingredients and creativity. Just a little creativity can go a long way.
Instead of giving you what’s been tried and true, I decided to make a primavera with beans. This dish is not of Italian origin (it’s Canadian!) so I think I have the right to be non traditional yet keep some tradition. Primavera means spring so I thought to maintain some of the classic essence I would use fresh green peas since they’re in season; peppers (I used three types), onions, and fresh herbs. What I decided to add for a twist was a bean because the legume is one of my main sources of protein.
I went with the cannellini bean (also known as the white kidney bean) which is very popular in Italian cuisine so I figured it would be a great compliment. In addition to the typical bean benefits of being low in calories, high in fiber and protein, it has uber antioxidants. Remember, antioxidants are thought to protect your skin and the rest of your body from free radicals, and destructive atoms that invade and damage cells. I read that these super white beans provide zinc, copper, and along with the protein can also help fight premature wrinkling of the skin….need I say more??
Feed the wellness in you!
- 1-15 oz can cannellini beans, drained
- 1.5 cups fresh green peas
- 1/4 cup red onions
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
- 2 tbl capers
- 1/2 large red pepper, sliced
- 1/2 large orange pepper, sliced
- 1/2 large yellow pepper, sliced
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp tarragon
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 -2.5 cups Vegetable Broth
- Shredded Romano Cheese (optional)
- 1/2 Box of Whole Wheat Fusilli Pasta (approx. 8 oz)
- Sautee the onions, garlic and peppers in olive oil on medium heat for 7-10 minutes.
- Add your cannellini beans and turn to low for 5 minutes, then to simmer.
- In a small pot cook the peas in 2 cups of broth on a medium heat until it comes to a boil then add to the cannellini bean mixture.
- Add your white wine, capers, tarragon, parsley, fresh thyme. Cook on a low heat for 15 minutes while you prepare the pasta according to the directions for al dente pasta.
- In a large pan add the pasta and the bean primavera. Mix well and serve with Romano Cheese