Whether or not this dish of tube-shaped penne pasta lavished with a peppery, vodka-laced cream and tomato sauce was created in Italy is a matter of heated debate in some quarters; some say it was the result of aggressive marketing on the part of vodka importers. Whatever the case, it has become firmly entrenched as an Italian American classic.
The owner of Le Cirque set out to make two pasta dishes for his friends while on vacation, one with vegetables, one Alfredo style. But in the end he mixed the vegetables with spaghetti and cream together, and Spaghetti Alla Primavera soon became a regularly-requested item at the restaurant.
While the days are still warm and evenings begin to feel pleasantly crisp, host a simple but elegant dinner party with this menu. Peak tomatoes are delicious stuffed and roasted, garden-grown thyme is the perfect adornment for simple grilled lamb chops, and a blackberry-apple cake topped with a dollop of crème fraîche makes the most of the overlap of seasons.