Pasta alla Primavera is the ultimate celebration of Spring! Traditionally, people use whatever fresh Spring veggies they have on hand, thus, you'll almost never eat one that is exactly the same as the one before. Feel free to substitute with whatever veggies look good at your local market, but be sure to adjust cooking times, as not all veggies are equal!
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Red Bell Pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with a large pinch of salt. Meanwhile, halve, peel, and dice the onion. Mince or grate the garlic. Finely chop the parsley. Slice the mushrooms. Trim and discard the bottom inch of the asparagus, then cut int 1-inch pieces. Cut the broccoli into bite-size florets. Core, seed, and remove white veins from the red bell pepper, cut it into strips, then into 1/2-inch cubes.
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add the broccoli to the boiling water for 4-5 minutes, until bright green and crisp-tender. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and reserve in the ice bath. Add the asparagus to the boiling water for 2-3 minutes, until bright green and crisp-tender. Reserve with the broccoli. Then, add the orecchiette to the boiling water and cook for 9-10 minutes, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
While the pasta cooks, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, tossing, 4-5 minutes, until soft and golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add the onion ad red bell pepper and cook, tossing, for 6-8 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and as many chili flakes as you dare and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the pasta to the pan with the asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, sour cream, Parmesan, half the parsley and a splash of pasta water. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve sprinkled with the remaining parsley and more chili flakes if desired. Enjoy!