October 8th is National Pierogi Day.
Today we have an easy comfort food idea: Pasta Primavera—but not the standard you expect.
It’s made with pierogi, the filled dumplings of Central and Eastern European origin.
There, the pierogi are made by filling made filling pieces of noodle [pasta] dough with a savory or sweet filling, and pinching the edges together like ravioli.
They are then boiling like ravioli, or pan-fried. Unlike Italian filled pasta, the toppings reflect Eastern European cuisine: butter and/or sour cream.
Pasta Primavera got its name from the colorful vegetables combined with the pasta.
In addition to the colorful additions, it gave us pasta lovers a guilt waiver because of the vegetables.
The origin of Pasta Primavera has a touch of glamour.
In 1975, New York chef Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque was hired to cook for an Italian baron and his guests, on a 700-acre Shangri-La Ranch on Robert’s Island, Nova Scotia.
Along with two of his chefs, he began to prepare local game and fish, but eventually the baron and his guests asked for something different.
Maccioni then made pasta and added vegetables, with a sauce of butter, cream and parmesan cheese.
The dish was a success, and Maccioni began to serve it at Le Cirque in New York City where it was a “special” until publicity made it the next hot thing.
A 1977 article in the New York Times, by the power duo Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey, included a recipe for the dish.
Other chefs subsequently put in their own claims for inventing the dish, but the end of the story is that Pasta Primavera became a staple in homes and restaurants, and remains so to this day.
What’s more fun than Pasta Primavera? Pierogies Primavera, an easy sheet pan dinner with veggies and mini pierogies.
This recipe, from Mrs. T’s, is a welcome pasta dish for veggie eaters and a temptation for those who resist their veggies.
Feel free to load up on even more vegetables for an greater balance of veggie to pierogy/pierogi.
Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.
Try Mrs. T’s Pierogies can be baked, boiled, fried, sautéed or grilled
The minis (bite size) are made in Mini Classic Cheddar, Mini Cheddar Seasoned With Bacon, Mini Classic Onion and Mini Four Cheese Medley.
The full-size pierogies are available in 10 additional flavors (don’t hesitate to try the sauerkraut pierogies).
This recipe uses the cheddar variety: sharp cheddar cheese blended into seasoned whipped potatoes. You can switch flavors at your discretion
Ingredients For 4 Servings
1. ARRANGE a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. PLACE the pierogies, garlic and vegetables on the baking sheet.
3. WHISK the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over the pierogies and vegetables. Toss gently to combine, then spread into an even layer.
4. ROAST, stirring halfway through until the pierogies are golden-brown and the vegetables are tender, 16 to 18 minutes total. Serve with a peppermill for those who like more heat.
These easy-to-prepare dumplings can be boiled, baked, fried, grilled or sautéd.
You can serve them classic-style with sour cream (add fresh herbs garnish), with an optional side of sauerkraut.
We like them as a snack, warm or room temperature, with beer.
We like to top them with melted cheese, an homage to mac-and-cheese. But there’s so much more: