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The Pioneer Woman invited viewers on a journey into her refrigerator. Ree Drummond gathered ingredients from her fridge and made meals based on what was inside. One meal she whipped up was produce drawer primavera. Here’s how she made this meal.

Ree Drummond’s produce drawer primavera

The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond and Savannah Guthrie do a cooking demonstration on the Today show.
The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond and Savannah Guthrie I Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Drummond says she and pasta primavera “go way back.” She has been making this dish for a long time. Drummond says pasta primavera is basically pasta with spring vegetables. She likes her version best because she can whatever vegetable she wants (check out some of Drummond’s best vegetable recipes).

Preparing The Pioneer Woman’s pasta primavera

Drummond starts her pasta primavera recipe by heating up butter and olive oil in a pan. She then adds the vegetables (orange bell peppers, asparagus, yellow squash, and cremini mushrooms).

“I love pasta primavera,” says Drummond on The Pioneer Woman show. “My mom used to make it when I was growing up. It was kind of one of her things. Every time I came home from ballet and saw that pasta primavera was on the menu, it just made me happy.”

Drummond cooks the vegetables for 3 to 4 minutes until they start to get soft. Then she adds salt and pepper. Drummond briefly turns off the heat and places the vegetables in a plate so they can stop cooking. This prevents them from overcooking and getting soggy. (Check out Drummond’s 5-cheese pasta recipe.)

The finishing touches

Next, Drummond turns the heat to a medium-low setting and adds butter and olive to the pan so she can prepare for the next stage of the pasta primavera. She adds sliced red onions (she slices them until they are very thin), garlic, and finely diced ham (she purchased the ham already pre-sliced).

Drummond says ham is a great refrigerator staple because it’s cured and salty, so it lasts a long time. “It’s a great fridge staple because it takes a while before it expires,” says Drummond.

For the next step, Drummond adds fresh thyme and fresh oregano along with white wine and one cup of heavy cream. “I did not say that pasta primavera was a light dish,” jokes Drummond. “It is definitely not a light dish.”

Drummond then adds pesto (she says it’s a great convenience item) and parmesan cheese. Next, she adds the vegetables and pasta to the mixture. She advises home cooks to slowly toss the sauce with the pasta.

“It’s really important with a sauce like this that you just slowly toss it with the pasta because as it thickens it just coats the noodles even more and you wind up with this beautiful, thick sauce that’s just incredible,” says Drummond.

Ree Drummond’s pasta dishes

Drummond is a big fan of pasta. One of her favorite pasta dishes is spaghetti and meatballs. She says this is one meal she gets excited about.

“What I’m trying to say in a roundabout, backward, incoherent, motormouthed way is that I derive a great deal of satisfaction from cooking spaghetti and meatballs,” says Drummond on The Pioneer Woman website.

“There’s just something about the mixing of the meatballs, the forming them into compact little rounds, the browning them in the same pot in which you’ll eventually add the sauce ingredients, the adding of the meatballs to the sauce. The steady simmer, during which the meatballs impart their flavor to the sauce.”

RELATED: ‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond Is ‘Speechless’ After Eating This Macaroni and Cheese

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