Pasta Primavera

I have received so many e-mails after posting "Shrimp-and-Squash Penne" two weeks ago, that I decided to post another great Spring recipe! "Primavery" literally means "first green" and the specs of green in this dish are made up of pieces of asparagus, diced zucchini, snow peas, green onions and fresh herbs complimented by pieces of salty prosciutto and grated nutty Asiago cheese. Yummm... This recipe is a keeper - for all Springs to come!

Ingredients (to serve 4):

12 ounces uncooked spaghettini or vermicelli
2 1/2 cups diagonally sliced asparagus (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups snow peas or shelled green peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced zucchini
1/2 cus sliced green onions
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 ounces thinly sliced procciutto (or ham), cut in bite-size pieces
3/4 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese

Tip 1: For easier tossing (and possibly easier eating ;-) ), break the pasta in half or use a different pasta shape altogether. Be aware, though, that the cooking time for pasta varies greatly with its shape. For the recommended cooking time, refer to the instructions printed on the pasta box!

Tip 2: No extra salt is needed; the salt that comes with the prosciutto and cheese is sufficient.

Preparation (about 30 minutes):

1. In a large pot, bring lightly salted water to a boil and add the pasta.

2. 4 minutes before the pasta is done, add the asparagus. 2 minutes before the pasta is done, add the peas. Drain well and set aside.

3. While the pasta and vegetables are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, sauté 5 minutes. Add onions, sauté 1 minute. Add broth and wine and bring to a boil.

4. Pour sauce over the drained pasta mixture and toss gently. Add basil, oregano, pepper and prosciutto - a few pieces at a time - and toss gently.

5. Spoon pasta into shallow bowls and spinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons of cheese.

Serve with a glass of chilled white wine and ... enjoy!