This pasta primavera is for all the veggie lovers!
A combination of vegetables and pasta strands are each coated in a simple pesto sauce to create a simple yet fresh tasting meal!
I remember hearing the term pasta primavera as a kid and thinking it sounded so exotic, expensive and fancy. It sounded like something out of a movie.
I can’t recall my age or the restaurant, but one day I decided to go for broke and order a pasta primavera for myself. I was extremely disheartened to see that the dish I had been dreaming of all these years was loaded with vegetables.
These days I love a good pasta primavera recipe because it comes together simply. I feel as though this is one of those meals where you open your fridge and mix whatever is inside with whatever pasta you have in your pantry and call it a meal!
What Is Pasta Primavera
Traditionally, a primavera pasta is made with asparagus, broccoli, peas, mushrooms, and tomatoes all in a creamy, Parmesan sauce. While you might think the nationality of this dish is Italian, this is an American dish created in the 1970s. As with many classic dishes, the origins are a bit fuzzy.
What Veggies Go In Pasta Primavera
Primavera means “springtime” in Italian, which is why you most often see spring vegetables like peas, asparagus, and broccoli, but I personally believe that any vegetable will work in this dish!
For this recipe, I decided to go for color!
Does Pasta Primavera Have A Sauce?
Yes! Typically you will find garlic and butter sauce infused with Parmesan cheese. In keeping with the green, fresh-tasting, veggie theme, I used pesto sauce for this pasta primavera instead.
How To Make Pesto Pasta Primavera
To start, prepare your pasta according to package directions. I chose to use linguini noodles, but quite honestly, any pasta shape will be sufficient.
Cook the pasta until al dente, drain the pasta, but reserve about 1 cup of the salted water.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, cook for a minute before adding sliced zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, and a little salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables just until they begin to soften.
Add the drained pasta to the same skillet. Add the pesto, turning to coat. I used a jarred pesto, but of course, homemade pesto is welcome!
At this point, I like to add a little lemon zest and a splash of lemon juice. This will add a touch of freshness that will liven the sauce and the veggies.
Add splashes of water from the reserved cup of pasta water to the pesto sauce. The starch from the cooked pasta will magically thicken the sauce and of course at a little more flavor to the whole dish!
Just before serving, stir in fresh spinach leaves and halved cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle your pasta with grated Parmesan cheese!
How To Make Pasta Primavera With Chicken
To make this chicken pasta primavera, I personally think using a rotisserie chicken is the way to go. Shred your already cooked chicken and add it to your vegetables the same time you add your pasta. Then coat with pesto and proceed with the recipe.
For a different protein, try this Pasta Primavera Recipe with Salmon.
Can Pasta Primavera Be Frozen
The short answer is yes. However, it really depends on the vegetables you use for this recipe. If you use broccoli, peas, and peppers, then the pasta can be placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to a month. When ready, add butter and garlic to a deep skillet. Add the frozen pasta and heat until warmed through, turning to coat. Stir with Parmesan cheese.
If your primavera contains zucchini, yellow squash, or mushrooms, then I would avoid freezing this pasta as the vegetables would be too soft.
For Pasta Recipes, Try:
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- 1 lb linguini noodles
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 8 oz sliced baby Bella mushrooms
- 1 cup sliced zucchini
- ½ red bell pepper sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- 6 oz jar pesto
- Lemon zest and juice from half a lemon
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 cup halved yellow cherry tomatoes
- Prepare pasta according to packing directions, drain and reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.
- Heat butter and oil together in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, and salt. Cook vegetables for 5-6 minutes or until soft.
- Add pasta to the same skillet. Stir in pesto, turning to coat. Add lemon zest and juice. Add reserved pasta water one tablespoon at a time to thin out the pesto and give it a more sauce-like quality. Stir in spinach and tomatoes just before serving. You want the spinach to have lots of color and bite.
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Nutrition InformationYield 6
Amount Per ServingCalories 0 Total Fat 0g Saturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 0mg Fiber 0g Sugar 0g Protein 0g