Primavera Pasta with Breadcrumb Topping
Hand-twisted noodles called pinci (also known as pici) are a Tuscan delicacy. Luckily for time-pressed cooks, curly pasta noodles work too.
- 8 oz. fusilli or rotini pasta
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- ½ lb. green beans, trimmed
- ½ large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
- 3 medium-sized zucchini (about ½ lb. total), trimmed and julienned
- 2 large red bell peppers, julienned
- ¼ cup finely chopped basil
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
- 1 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Extra virgin olive oil
1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, bring large pot of salted water to boil; add green beans, and parboil 3 minutes. Transfer beans to colander and rinse under cold running water to stop cooking.
3. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in very large skillet over medium heat. Add green beans, onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper, and cook, covered, 3 minutes. Add zucchini, peppers, basil, and oregano, and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes, or until vegetables are just al dente; do not overcook. Season with salt to taste.
4. Warm remaining 1 Tbs. oil in second skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.
5. Add drained pasta to vegetables, and toss to blend; sprinkle with breadcrumbs, cheese, and olive oil, and serve.
March 2006 p.78