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Published March 11, 2020. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Pasta primavera is a delicious entrée loaded with fresh seasonal vegetables that are tossed with noodles and finished off with fresh herbs and cheese.
I’m not sure there is a better recipe to get your family to eat vegetables then this. It’s incredibly simple to make for a quick weeknight meal and elegant enough to serve up to guests if you desire.
Pasta primavera is a simple pasta dish consisting of fresh seasonal vegetables that are sautéed and tossed with pasta and fresh herbs. Every single recipe looks different depending on what produce is available.
Why Is It Called Pasta Primavera
The word “primavera” translates from Italian to English as Spring. As I stated before seasonal cooking is the only way they do it in Italy and during springtime, what over those fresh vegetables were, is what’s in the pasta.
There are quite a few possibilities for this pasta, and here are some that you should consider adding to your pasta primavera:
- Yellow Squash
- Fava Beans
- Lima Beans
- Bell Peppers
How to Make It
This is all about timing because some of the vegetables are firmer than the others require longer cooking times. Follow these quick procedures:
Cook the onions in olive oil over low heat until they are lightly browned and tender, about 6-8 minutes.
Add in the carrots and mushrooms and cook for a further 4-5 minutes.
Scoot the vegetables to one side of the pan and cook the garlic on the other side of the pan until lightly browned.
Add in the remaining vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
Toss with cooked pasta and serve.
Is There a Sauce
There is no specific sauce for this recipe however this leaves it open to interpretation. I simply use some of the starchy pasta water to loosen up the pasta. You can use things like a Pomodoro Sauce and toss with the vegetables and pasta, or even a bechamel.
What Noodles Should I Use
Since I always seem to have leftover pasta, I always use that to get rid of it. However, you can use whatever noodle you like. Here are a few suggestions:
Pasta Primavera Variations
Chicken Primavera – You can absolutely add chicken breasts or even some cut-up rotisserie chicken meat for protein to the pasta at the end when tossing the noodles with the vegetables.
Creamy Pasta Primavera – If you wish to make a creamy pasta primavera, simply start by making a classic alfredo sauce consisting of butter and parmesan cheese and toss with your cooked vegetables and noodles.
Make-Ahead and Storage
How to Reheat: Add your desired amount of pasta to a frying pan with a ½ cup of warm water and cook the pasta over low heat while moving the pasta around with a spoon until hot.
Make-Ahead: It is always best to make and serve this pasta immediately.
How to Store: Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
chef notes + tips
- Be sure to season the hot boiling water for the pasta with salt. A rule of thumb is that it should taste like the ocean.
- You can substitute out the hot starchy pasta water with hot vegetable stock or chicken stock.
- They say once you smell garlic while cooking, it’s done.
More Pasta Recipes
- Creamy Pesto Pasta With Vegetables
- Puttanesca Sauce with Pappardelle
- Lasagna Bolognese
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Pasta Carbonara
- Bucatini All’Amatriciana
Pasta Primavera Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ peeled thinly sliced red onions
- 2 peeled thinly sliced carrots
- 6 thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
- 2 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 8-10 thinly sliced stalks of asparagus
- 1 thinly sliced green zucchini
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- ½ cup fava beans, lima beans or peas
- ¼ cup sliced kalamata olives
- 1 pound linguine, angel hair, penne or farfalle pasta
- 1 ½ cups pasta water
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Add the olive oil to a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the red onions until they are lightly browned and tender, about 6-8 minutes.
- Next, add in the carrots and mushrooms and cook for a further 4-5 minutes.
- Scoot the vegetables to one side of the pan and on the other side cook the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Stir in the asparagus, zucchini, tomatoes, and beans and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Finish by mixing in the olives, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- When you add in the remaining vegetables to the pasta, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the recommended times on the package and add it to the pan.
- Add the pasta to the pan with cooked vegetables along with pasta water and toss until mixed together.
- Serve with optional garnishes: toasted pine nuts, chopped basil, grated parmesan cheese.