Susan's Pasta Primavera

Recipe courtesy of Louisiana Kitchen & Culture

Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 6 - 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground meat, 85% lean
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb mix, or to taste
  • 1 cup black olives, pitted and quartered lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup colossal green olives stuffed with sundried tomatoes
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts in water, drained and quartered
  • up to 1 cup chicken broth, in all
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 pound broccoli florets
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • crushed red pepper flakes

Pasta Primavera


Click image to enlarge.


Heat the olive oil in a large heavy sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 2 mintues. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant; take care not to burn. Add the meat and cook, chopping into fine pieces, until meat is no longer pink and is beginning to brown. Add the Italian seasoning mix and stir in the black and green olives; add the cherry tomatoes.

Measure out 1/2 cup chicken broth and mix well with the tomato paste. Add this mixture to the saucepan, bring to a simmer, lower the heat, and cook until the tomates just begin to break down, adding up to 1/2 cup chicken broth if the sauce is too thick. Stir in the artichoke hearts.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook penne pasta according to package directions. When the water returns to the boil after the pasta is added, stir in the broccoli florets and cook to desired degree of doneness. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, remove broccoli to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process; strain.

When the pasta is just al dente, pour it into a large collander and shake to remove as much water as possible. Add the pasta to the sauce pan and stir to incorporate; the pasta will absorb some of the sauce, which will prevent it from clumping later. Stir in the broccoli and torn basil. Serve at once, passing the parmesan cheese and crushed pepper flakes at the table.


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