Friday, September 13, 2013

Grandpa Slim's Pasta Primavera


Growing up, my mom's parents lived just a few blocks away and we saw them often. But my dad's parents were a different story. unfortunately, my dad's mom died before I was even born and we never even got to meet each other. I wish I had known her. My dad's father eventually remarried and he and his wife lived in Washington State.

Once a year I used to fly up to Seattle to spend a week or so with my beloved Auntie Laura (more on her soon!), and whenever I was there, we would always make a point to visit with my grandpa Slim. Some years, we would go out to visit him in Port Angeles, and other years he and his wife Eunice would come to Seattle. One such year, Slim and Eunice came to Seattle and offered to take us out to dinner at the Space Needle!! What fun! In case you don't know, the Space Needle is awesome. Also, up at the very top, there is a restaurant that revolves in circles, so that as you enjoy your meal you also enjoy an ever-changing view of Seattle and the mountains and the sea. I recall the rotating part of it very fondly!

My aunt Laura was a vegetarian, and she had recently inspired me to become a vegetarian too - which means I must have been at least 14 or so. When we opened the menu at the Space Needle, there were all the classic favorites: Rib Eye Steak, Lamb (shudder!), Crab, etc... and then - the one veggie option - Pasta Primavera. Do you remember those days? There was a time in the 80's when every restaurant in America had one vegetarian option and every single time it was Pasta Primavera. Ha ha! So, we both ordered the PP... and somehow this dish became indelibly linked in my heart to this one evening spent with my Grandpa Slim at the Space Needle Restaurant.

After dinner, we went to drop Slim and Eunice off at the house where they were staying with relatives. I remember Slim's brother-in-law answered the door and asked me "How was your dinner? Did you order a steak?" I will never forget the look of true concern and horror when I told him I was a vegetarian. After an authentic pause of dismay, he reassured himself and said "Oh well, you're young and pretty, you'll still find someone." Ha ha. He was not even kidding! My aunt and I had such a laugh about it that night (and for years to come.)


As Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats has pointed out, Slim's brother-in-law was right - I did find someone! :) And in honor of my sweet grandpa Slim and one of our few memories together that I hold and cherish, I made us some Pasta Primavera for dinner last night. I followed "the original recipe" for PP (although there are many recipes out there claiming to be the original.) Basically, I followed it "to the t", except I left out all the dairy hoo-ha and I also skipped asparagus, because - frankly - it's just not really primavera around here. It was a delicious dinner, and a sweet opportunity to remember my Grandpa Slim, and the love we shared.

10 comments:

  1. I love reading about your lovely family! I've always wanted to go to the Space Needle restaurant. I wonder if the only veg option is still pasta primavera. I mean, that's still the only veg option at puuulenty of restaurants!

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  2. "Ah yes, I remember it well." Pasta primavera — not a bad dish if you don't HAVE to eat it in every restaurant. Your rendition looks really yummy. I've never been to the restaurant on top of the space needle. I wonder if PP is still on the menu. :)

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  3. I love reading these stories about your family. And pasta is always and forever my favorite vegan/veggie backup in restaurants.

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  4. Awww. . . how sweet. You know, a lot of places still only have pasta primavera, if even. :-( But it's changing. The midwest is a little behind the west coast.

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  5. I've eaten so much PP back in the day at conferences that I've never had the urge to make it myself. I love hearing all your stories and food memories they have given you. xoxo

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  6. I'm finally giving away the Vida con cookbooklette for mofo! Thanks for putting it all together and the illustrations are lovely!

    http://vegandance.blogspot.com/2013/09/2013-mofo-12-giveaway-vida-vegan-con.html

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  7. This is my first visit to your blog during MoFo. I love your theme. It is making me happy and nostalgic. Your illustrations are adorable. Bravo!

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  8. your story sounds like mine. my mom's parents lived very close to us, while my grandpa on my dads side lived far away. my grandma on my dads side also died before i was born, and my grandpa remarried! your pasta looks great, i recently made a vegan PP myself!

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  9. That sounds and looks delicious. I don't know if I've ever HAD pasta primavera, though.

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  10. All your family stories are making me super homesick, ha ha.
    I honestly think the only time I've had pasta primavera has been at restaurants, so apparently it's still a thing!

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