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Pasta Primavera

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Pasta Primavera is a simple colorful pasta dish that is packed with tons of spring vegetables, perfect for making your kids excited about eating their veggies! This recipe is made with carrots, broccoli, red bell pepper, asparagus, yellow squash, peas, and cherry tomatoes for a bite that bursts with texture and flavor!

Pasta Primavera is a favorite in my house any time of year, but especially now that the weather is getting warmer and we’re all ready for fresh veggies, colorful pasta dishes, and more sunlight in our day. This veggie loaded dish will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters with its creamy lemon garlic sauce and a fun burst of color!

This dish uses all staple ingredients with some fresh vegetables that will surely be making their way to your supermarket or garden any day now. For more pasta dishes, try my Italian Pasta Salad or Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Pesto Pasta.

Pasta Primavera

What is primavera?

Primavera means Spring in Italian, making this dish perfect for the warm weather coming in. This can be eaten any time of the year, but this Pasta Primavera recipe is best during the warm months made with fresh garden veggies!

Pasta Primavera

What vegetables are in pasta primavera?

This is a versatile dish so feel free to use any fresh vegetables of your choice, but these are the classic spring vegetables in mine. Try it with Carrots, broccoli, bell pepper, asparagus, yellow squash, peas, and cherry tomatoes!

What do I need to get started?

  • Penne Pasta is traditional in Pasta Primavera. You can choose another pasta, but this is my go-to for this dish.
  • Butter. I always recommend a high quality salted butter for best results.
  • Red onion, thinly sliced.
  • Minced garlic. Freshly cut is always the best bet, rather than the jarred stuff, but if that’s all you have it will work just as well!
  • Carrots. I buy the fully sized carrots and slice into matchsticks.
  • Broccoli florets. You can buy these from the store, or just buy broccoli and cut the head into pieces for florets.
  • Red bell pepper. You can use orange or yellow as well, but I think the red adds a lovely color to the dish.
  • Asparagus.
  • Yellow squash.
  • Peas. I used frozen, but fresh peas are okay too.
  • Cherry tomatoes.
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • Grated parmesan cheese. You can buy it grated, but I find the flavor is best when you grate the block yourself.
  • Heavy whipping cream.
  • Italian seasoning. I just used my jar of seasoning, but you can make your own with dried basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, and sage.
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste.
  • Fresh basil and parsley, for garnish and additional flavor!

How to make Pasta Primavera

Start with cooking the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain the pasta and preserve a little bit of the pasta water. Rinse the pasta with cold water and place in a large bowl.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter (olive oil can also be used). Once it is melted and hot, saute the onions, carrots, and garlic for about 4 minutes.

Add the broccoli, peppers, and asparagus to the pan and saute for another 3-4 minutes.

Add the squash and peas and cook for another few minutes. Remove all the vegetables from the heat and toss them and the cherry tomatoes together with the pasta.

Whisk all the sauce ingredients together. If you want it thicker, add more parmesan cheese.

If you want it thinner, add a bit of the pasta water. If you are satisfied with the consistency, discard the pasta water and taste the sauce. Season with salt and pepper for more flavor, then toss over the pasta and vegetables. Garnish with fresh parsley and fresh basil.

Pasta Primavera

What to serve with Pasta Primavera

Try my Garlic Bread or serve with more veggies, like my Air Fryer Asparagus. This would be great with a side salad for more light springy goodness, or it is delicious and filling all on its own!

Pasta Primavera

Can I make this with chicken or shrimp?

Yes, this dish can easily have chicken or shrimp added. You can either cook it on the same skillet and set it aside before cooking the veggies, or you can buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it up to toss with the pasta and veggies.

Pasta Primavera

Storage and Make Ahead

This dish stores well and can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I find it’s even better the next day! I do not recommend freezing since the sauce contains heavy cream.

Tips and Tricks

1.) To add some spice to this dish, dice up some jalapenos and add to the saute pan with the other veggies.
2.) Add more of your family’s favorite flavors to this dish – it is a great way to get them to eat more veggies!
3.) This is not a traditional pasta dish where the veggies are cooked until soft. They are lightly cooked but still have some crunch for a yummy texture in the dish.

Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Pasta Primavera is a simple colorful pasta dish that is packed with tons of spring vegetables, perfect for making your kids excited about eating their veggies! This recipe is made with carrots, broccoli, red bell pepper, asparagus, yellow squash, peas, and cherry tomatoes for a bite that bursts with texture and flavor!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 4 thin slices red onion, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch matchsticks
  • 2 cups Broccoli florets
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into 1 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 pound Asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small Yellow Squash, cut into small half round slices
  • 1 cup frozen Peas
  • 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Zest one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped Basil, optional

Instructions

  1. Cook the noodles according to package directions just till al dente.  Rinse with cold water and place in a large bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet and sauté the onions, garlic, and carrots for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli, peppers, and asparagus to the pan and saute for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the squash and peas and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the vegetables to the pasta and toss in the tomatoes.
  5. Combine the lemon juice, parmesan cheese, whipping cream, Italian seasoning, lemon zest, parsley, salt, and pepper and toss with the vegetables.
  6. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and basil as desired.

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