The freshest vegetables of the season are the secret to infusing this Italian classic with color and flavor.
Yield: serves 4
- 1 medium zucchini, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4"-thick pieces
- 1 medium yellow summer squash, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4"-thick pieces
- 1 1⁄2 cups fresh shelled green peas
- Florets from 1 lb. broccoli
- 8 spears asparagus, trimmed and cut crosswise into thirds
- 6 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 16 button mushrooms, stemmed, caps quartered
- 1⁄4 cup pine nuts
- 4 plum tomatoes, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
- 1 lb. spaghetti
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1⁄4 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp. butter, softened
- 12-14 leaves basil, shredded
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Put zucchini and squash into a sieve, blanch for 30 seconds, transfer to a large bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking further, then gently shake sieve to remove excess water, transfer vegetables to a small bowl, and set aside. Repeat blanching and cooling process with the peas, broccoli, and asparagus, in that order, setting vegetables aside in separate bowls.
- Heat 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute zucchini and squash and broccoli until just beginning to brown, 2-3 minutes. Add peas, one-third of the garlic, and salt to taste, saute for 1 minute, then transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and set aside. Wipe skillet clean. Heat 2 tbsp. of the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat and saute mushrooms until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Add pine nuts and saute until golden, 1-2 minutes. Add half the garlic and salt to taste, saute for 30 seconds, then transfer to a small bowl, cover, and set aside. Wipe skillet clean. Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, saute asparagus until lightly browned, about 1 minute, then transfer to a small bowl, cover, and set aside. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. oil, tomatoes, remaining garlic, and salt to taste to the skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until tomatoes break apart and release their juice, 3-4 minutes. Cover and set aside.
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat until just cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, boil 2 1⁄2 cups of the cream in a large skillet over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, 5-6 minutes. Stir in parmigiano and salt to taste. Drain pasta, add to skillet with cream, and cook, stirring often, until pasta absorbs sauce, 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining 1⁄2 cup cream, stock and butter, and stir constantly until sauce thickens, 1-2 minutes.
- Divide pasta among four warm bowls. Dividing quantities equally, top pasta with zucchini-broccoli mixture, mushroom mixture, tomato sauce, and asparagus, in that order. Garnish with basil.