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Pasta Primavera Salad


2 cups short fusilli (or other curly pasta)
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces haricots verts, stem ends snapped off*
6 ounces slender asparagus stalks
10 ounces fresh peas
6 ounces baby carrots
6 ounces baby red potatoes
12 basil leaves, plus a small sprig of basil for garnish
¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil for cooking the pasta and vegetables. Cook the fusilli until al dente, about 8 minutes. Using a wire skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer the pasta to a colander, rinse under cold water until cool, and drain well. Transfer the fusilli to a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil. Return the water to a boil.
  • Cut the haricots verts into 2-inch pieces. Snap the fibrous ends off the asparagus and cut the stalks into 2-inch pieces. Shell the peas. Cut the carrots and new potatoes in half lengthwise. Cook the haricots verts, asparagus and peas in the boiling water until crispy-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain the vegetables and transfer to a bowl of ice water. (The sudden cold helps intensify the colors.) Cook the carrots and potatoes in the boiling water until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain the vegetables and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain all the vegetables in a colander, blot dry on paper towels, and add them to the salad.
  • Just before serving, cut the basil leaves crosswise into ¼ inch strips. Add the basil, parsley, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and salt and pepper to the salad and toss to mix. Correct the seasoning, adding lemon juice, salt, or pepper to taste. The salad should be highly seasoned. Garnish with the basil sprig and serve at once. Serves 4.

*Haricots verts are skinny French green beans. Look for them at gourmet shops and many super markets, or use the skinniest green beans you can find.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 373
% Fat: 17
Sodium: 35 milligrams
Total Fat: 7 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligram

(Above figures based on per serving basis.)