Impress ‘Em Meal: Pasta Primavera

Everyone needs a meal that they can whip out when they need to impress someone. Whether it’s that hot barista you got the balls to finally ask out, that hot barista’s parents two years down the line, or that group of friends who only get together every so often, a meal you can make quickly and expertly is always a ticket to success.

My staple Impress ‘Em Meal has always been pasta primavera. It’s simple, fresh, and healthy – but best of all? It easy to do.

Here’s my favorite primavera recipe, from the Food Network. I recently used this to impress partygoers at a giant potluck. Now, they all think I can actually cook (too bad my microwave knows better…)!

INGREDIANTS

3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips

2 medium zucchini or 1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips

2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1/4 cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence

1 pound farfalle (bowtie pasta)

15 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

[Recipe courtesy of Everyday Italian]

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