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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spaghetti Primavera with Pine Nuts & Sumac

Spring is a short season so you must act accordingly and spring into action (!). Fresh veggies and herbs are, on one hand, easily available and plentiful, and on the other hand, healthy and packed with vitamins and nutrients that we lacked in during the winter months.

I haven't blogged as much as I have cooked (obviously), otherwise you would have discovered a sudden OCD streak in me this season: all green stuff... (and I'm not talking about money)  :)
I have cooked many Italian lunches/dinners lately... I have a love/hate relationship with pasta. I hate Carbonara, Bolognese, canelloni, lasagna, and other way of cooking pasta using minced meat, heavy cream, bechamel sauce and extra hard cheese. :/
However, the dish I love the most is Spaghetti Primavera- or it could also be Spaghettoni, Fusilli, Penne, Rigatoni, or Bow Ties in a light dressing made with olive oil, herbs and lemon, and with fresh, almost-raw stir-fried veggies.

My Spaghetti Primavera with Toasted Pine Nuts and Sumac

Type of cuisine: Italian/Vegetarian/Low-Fat

Difficulty: easy

Cooking time: 15 -20 min preparation time/10 minutes cooking time

250 gr of pasta

2 carrots

1 zucchini 

a small bunch of orach

2-3 spring onions

10 wild garlic (aka ramson) leaves

a small bunch of spinach

2 cloves of garlic

a small branch of rosemary

a handful of pine nuts 



freshly ground black pepper


extra virgin olive oil

freshly squeezed lemon juice


Boil the pasta in salty water with a dash of olive oil and a handful of basil. 

Boil the spinach in salty water, drain (and chop roughly).

Boil the orach and drain.

Peel the carrots as if you were making vegan-style raw carrot spaghetti. Do the same with the zucchini.

Chop the spring onions and the wild garlic leaves.

Toast the pine kernels


Once you have everything chopped up and at hand, you can almost start calling that dinner's ready.

Fry the garlic and the rosemary in olive oil. Stir-fry the zucchini and the carrots for a minute or two until they become soft. Add the pasta and toss. Squeeze some lemon juice and add the spinach and the orach. I like to separate the leaves individually (even though it's time-consuming and a bit boring) so that they won't bunch up and turn into big lumps. Toss.
Finally add the spring onions and the wild garlic. I like them raw.

To decorate grind some black pepper over the plate, sprinkle some sumac and top with toasted pine nuts. You could also use pumpkin seeds, toasted sunflower seeds, walnuts- the sky is the limit.. though be discerning and sample before embarking on anything fancy :)

The beauty of Spaghetti Primavera is that this dish is so versatile and easy to make. Don't be deterred by how many ingredients you will need. The list is open. If you don't have wild garlic, maybe you can use sweet peas instead, and so on. Let your creative juices flow and make the most of what these beautiful spring months have to offer. I am sure you will love this dish: it has many textures and it is the perfect candidate for a light lunch or a guilt-free dinner.

a view from above


  1. We adore Sumac. I am very partial to it and love it in anything I add this magic spice. what a wonderful dish.

  2. Thank you, my dear Soma. :) I adore sumac and once I discovered it, I've been using it so very often. I love it as part of zataar with homemade tamis or naan. Delicious. xx

  3. Super arata "salata" ta de paste. Si mie imi place sa le combin cu tot felul de verdeturi. Cat despre gustul acrisor al sumacului... yummmm
    Mersic pt idee. Sa ai o zi buna.