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Our easy pasta primavera recipe can be summed up in just a few words. Fresh, seasonal vegetables tossed with zesty lemon juice, olive oil, and pasta.
Let me start off by saying, authentic or not, I really enjoyed this recipe. In fact, I tend to eat dishes like this on a consistent basis. Simply put, when done well, I love my veggies and will eat them all the time.
Growing up, I ate a lot of bagged and canned vegetables, needless to say, I wasn’t a fan. It wasn’t until I started working in the restaurant industry that I discovered, vegetables can taste delicious. It just takes a little know-how and practice.
Furthermore, I hope people try this pasta and come to a similar conclusion. Alright, enough chit chat, you didn’t come here to talk to me. Let’s get cooking!
Easy Pasta Primavera Instructions:
First, start by prepping all your vegetables. Once your done dicing and slicing, you can cook the pasta. As always, I recommend following the box or bag instructions for al dente pasta noodles. Oh, and don’t forget to salt the water and save some of it for later (if you’re not using broth).
Next, grab a large skillet and place it over low-medium heat. Toss in the olive oil, carrots, and onions. Let the mixture cook for a few minutes to soften the veggies.
Then, add the broccoli and peppers to the mix. You’ll want to let them cook for a few minutes as well.
After that, you can put the asparagus and squash (or zucchini) into the pan. Again, letting everything cook for a few minutes to soften. Now, it’s important to note that you should be using a spatula or wooden spoon to stir everything as it cooks.
At this point, it’s time to add the garlic and tomatoes. These ingredients are considered, “delicate,” and should not be allowed to saute for very long. Otherwise, the tomatoes will become mushy and the garlic will burn and turn bitter.
Afterward, turn the heat down to low and dump in the pasta noodles (and pasta water or broth if needed) and use your spatula to combine all the ingredients. Only add the broth or water if it seems like the dish is going to be too dry.
Last, sprinkle in the lemon juice and most of Parmesan cheese. Toss everything to combine all the ingredients together. Do a taste test and see how much salt and pepper to add, garnish the pasta with the remaining Parmesan cheese, and serve.
That’s it, your easy pasta primavera recipe is done. Kim and I hope you enjoy the recipe and wish you all the best 🙂
Pasta Primavera Tips:
If you don’t have fresh lemons on hand, or don’t care for a lemon sauce, you can substitute in your favorite brand of pasta sauce. Whether you decide to use a red or white sauce is up to you.
In regards to the vegetables, try to peruse the produce section of your local supermarket or farmer’s market. You don’t have to use the same veggies. For example, if summer squash is in season, use it instead of zucchini. Another option is use whatever packaged and prepared vegetables your local supermarket has in stock. Some stores, like Publix, sell prepared fresh vegetables (washed, chopped, and bagged) that you can use in this recipe.
When sauteing vegetables, the order in which they go into the pan matters. Carrots, onions, broccoli, and similar veggies will take longer to cook than garlic and tomatoes. So, it’s always best to add soft vegetables to the pan last, so nothing ends up overcooked by the time the dish is done.
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Easy Pasta Primavera Recipe
- 8 Ounces Short Pasta (rigatoni, penne, etc.)
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Red Onion (or purple, thinly sliced)
- 1 Cup Carrots (sliced)
- 1 Cup Broccoli Florets
- 1 Cup Red Pepper (sliced)
- 1 Cup Yellow Pepper (or orange, sliced)
- 1/2 Cup Asparagus (chopped)
- 1 Cup Squash (or zucchini, chopped)
- 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
- 2 Large Garlic Cloves (minced)
- 1/2 Cup Vegetable Broth (or reserved pasta water)
- 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed)
- 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese (divided)
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until it reaches desired doneness. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water. Run pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process, then set aside.
- In a large skillet (12-inches or larger), heat the olive oil over low-medium heat. Add the onions and carrots. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the they just begin to soften.
- Next, add the broccoli and peppers. Continue to cook another 2-3 which using a spatula to mix the ingredients.
- Add the squash, zucchini, and asparagus, and combine with previous ingredients. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Last, add the tomatoes and garlic. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, just long enough to soften and warm the tomatoes and bring out the flavor in the garlic.
- Turn the heat to low, and add the cooked the noodles to the pan. Toss with vegetables to combine. Add the lemon juice, ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and add additional reserved pasta water if needed to add additional moisture.
- Serve warm and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese.