Pasta Primavera was all the rage in the United States in the 1970s, and is essentially any combination of pasta and cooked spring vegetables one could imagine. My own version came about just using ingredients in my refrigerator, and was quite a delicious impromptu creation.
Approx. 1/2 c. shelled fava beans
12 oz. penne pasta (I use brown rice pasta for a gluten-free meal)
2 T. + 1/8 c. good quality olive oil
Aleppo pepper flakes (or red chili flakes)
1 small sweet white onion, halved and sliced thinly
1 bulb fennel, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
1 small zucchini, sliced thinly
2 T. vermouth
Small handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
2 stalks fresh oregano, leaves removed and finely chopped
1 small frond of fennel leaves, finely chopped
Fresh chives or additional parsley, chopped (optional for garnish)
Almond Parmesan (optional for garnish - recipe below)
Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add shelled fava beans, and let them blanche for two minutes. Drain and let beans cool. (I do not peel my beans after this, which is what cooks in Italy would do. Learn more about why we've been led to believe that favas must always be peeled here).
Set a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. When it is ready, add a splash of olive oil and pasta. Cook until al dente and drain.
While pasta water boils, heat the 2 T. of olive oil and the Aleppo pepper (or red chili flakes) in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions and fennel and sauté for 5-6 minutes, until soft and slightly translucent. Add zucchini and drained fava beans and cook another 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Once zucchini is soft and vegetables are just beginning to brown, add vermouth to deglaze the pan. Stir in chopped herbs (parsley, oregano and fennel), along with 1/2 t. salt. Turn heat to low and keep vegetables warm until pasta is finished cooking.
Once pasta is done and drained, add it, along with 1/8 c. olive oil to the vegetables and stir to coat pasta well. Serve individual portions topped with chives or parsley, and a sprinkle of almond parmesan.
For Almond "Parmesan":
1/4 c. raw almonds
2 T. nutritional yeast
1 large cloves garlic, cut into quarters
1/8 t. salt
Place almonds in a mini food processor (a standard food processor or blender can be used as well) and process until roughly chopped. Add remaining ingredients, and run machine until everything is uniformly processed and roughly resembles the texture of parmesan cheese. Store any extra in refrigerator, where it will keep for about 6-7 days.