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I would dearly love to have Tony's recipe for pasta primavera. I enjoy it every time I have the good fortune to eat at Tony's. The vegetables are chopped small in what must be a simple butter sauce.

Ellen Weis

The kitchen that prepares food for both Tony's and Anthony's Bar has a delicious interpretation of pasta primavera. This simple one-pot preparation might sound unlikely, but it works.

Cooking fresh vegetables in a large pot of boiling water creates a tasty broth, said owner Vince Bommarito Jr. When the pasta is added, it absorbs the flavors contributed by the vegetables.

"We make a stock with the vegetables, and the pasta cooks right in there." Bommarito said. "You cook the flavor of the vegetables directly into the pasta."

Use your favorite vegetables, such as zucchini, broccoli or asparagus. Bommarito suggests adding chopped fresh spinach.

Possibly the most unexpected aspect of this dish is the size of the vegetables. Because they are finely chopped, even denser vegetables, such as cauliflower, cook quickly.

A quick trip through the salad bar for small amounts of ready-to-cook veggies and a fast whirl in a food processor will make preparation time minimal. Be careful not to overcook either pasta or vegetables.

Pasta primavera is available for dinner at both Tony's and Anthony's Bar, in a full or appetizer-size serving. At home, add grilled chicken, shrimp or even slices of steak for a main-dish pasta.

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TONY'S

410 South Broadway

St. Louis

314-231-7007

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PASTA PRIMAVERA > TONY'S

Yield: 3 servings

1 pound capellini (angel hair pasta)

2 1/2 cups finely minced fresh vegetables (such as asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms)

6 tablespoons ( 3/4 stick) butter

2 plum tomatoes, diced

1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes or to taste

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Put enough water to cook 1 pound pasta into a large pot; bring to a boil. Add vegetables and cook about 2 minutes. Add pasta and cook until almost done.

2. Ladle about 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid into a measuring cup and set aside. Drain pasta and vegetables, discarding remaining liquid.

3. In the empty pot, combine butter, tomatoes and red pepper flakes; stir together over medium-high heat until the butter melts. Stir in reserved liquid. Return cooked pasta and vegetables to the pot, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to mix well. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 785 calories; 25g fat; 15g saturated fat; 60mg cholesterol; 23g protein; 118g carbohydrate; 9g sugar; 7g fiber; 30mg sodium; 60mg calcium.

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