Pasta primavera is a traditional Italian dish using the best of the spring and summer vegetables in a cream based sauce on pasta. I base my recipe on one from Cook's Illustrated although I've changed the ingredients and methods. I also have successfully served this for a Friday night Sabbath meal, and I give my timing and method for that below..
Bring 3 quarts water to boil over high heat in large saucepan for green vegetables; add 1 tablespoon salt. Fill a large bowl with ice water; set aside. Add green beans to boiling water in saucepan; cook 1 1/2 minutes. Add asparagus; cook 30 seconds. Add zucchini; cook 30 seconds. Add peas; cook 30 seconds. Drain vegetables and immediately plunge them into ice water bath to stop cooking; let sit until chilled, about 3 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat until foamy in a saucepan. Add mushrooms and sautÃ© until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add red pepper flakes (if using), reduce heat to medium, and add cream. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes; cover to keep warm and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to boiling water in large stockpot and cook until pasta is al dente. For fresh pasta, this is only 2-3 minutes. While pasta is cooking, heat remaining 3 tablespoons butter in large skillet until foamy. Add garlic and sautÃ© until fragrant and very lightly colored, about 1 minute. Add blanched vegetables and cook until heated through and infused with garlic flavor, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt; set aside.
Meanwhile, bring mushroom sauce back to simmer over medium heat.
Drain pasta and add back to now-empty stockpot. Add mushroom sauce to pot with pasta and toss well to coat over low heat. Add vegetables, basil, and lemon juice; season to taste with salt and toss well. Divide portions among individual pasta bowls. Serve immediately, passing cheese separately.
Serves 8 as a main dish or 10-12 as a first course.
If you are preparing this for a dairy Friday night meal, follow the recipe except for the pasta boiling, any time Thursday evening or Friday, keeping all ingredients cold in the refrigerator after blanching, cooking, etc. Just before candle lighting, warm the sauce and sauteed vegetables (don't cook any further). Then, at the last minute, cook and drain pasta and mix with vegetables. Keep covered, but off the heat. As you serve, toss the warm mushroom sauce with the tepid pasta/vegetables, and serve with grated cheese.