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Le Cirque's Spaghetti Primavera



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Le Cirque’s Spaghetti Primavera

New York Cookbook

by Molly O’Neill, 1992, Workman Publishing Co., Inc.


“Sirio Maccioni, the impresario of the restaurant, Le Cirque, in
Manhattan, is credited with creating this dish, variations of which
have become a standby in restaurants across the country – mostly
as the retitled Pasta Primavera. This is the original recipe.”

Serves 4 as a main course, or 6 to 8 as an appetizer

1 bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut
into bite-size florets
2 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and
cut into 1-inch lengths
4 asparagus spears (about 5 inches long),
peeled, trimmed, and cut into thirds
1 1/2 cups green beans, trimmed and
cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh red or
green chile, or about 1/2 teaspoon dried
red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
3 cups seeded, diced ripe tomatoes,
reserve the juice separately
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 pound spaghetti or spaghettini
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream,
or more if needed
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup toasted pine nuts

1. Cook the broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, and green beans in boiling
salted water until crisp but tender, about 4 minutes. Add the peas
and cook for 1 minute more. Drain and refresh the vegetables in
cold water. Drain and set aside in a mixing bowl.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a nonreactive large skillet over
medium heat. When hot, add the mushrooms and chile and sauté
for about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil,
the garlic, and tomatoes and cook, stirring gently so as not to
break up the tomatoes, for about 4 minutes. Add the parsley
and basil; stir and set aside.
3. Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until just al dente; the
spaghetti must retain just a slight resilience in the center. Drain.
4. Meanwhile, in a nonreactive pot large enough to hold the drained
spaghetti and all of the vegetables, melt the butter over medium
heat. Add the cream and Parmesan and stir constantly until heated
through. When hot, reduce the heat and cook gently on and off
the heat until smooth. Add the spaghetti and toss quickly to blend.
Add half of the vegetables and pour in the reserved juice from the
tomatoes. Toss and stir over very low heat until the mixture is
heated through, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Add the remaining vegetables and toss gently. If the sauce seems
too dry, add additional cream, but the sauce should not be soupy.
Adjust the seasonings. Add the pine nuts and give the mixture one
final toss. Serve in heated soup or spaghetti bowls. Spoon some
of the tomato mixture over each serving. Serve immediately.

Featured Archive Recipes:
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and Mushrooms

Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and
Eggplant (Mama Leone's)

Spaghetti con Pomodoro Crudo
(Sophia Loren)

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