Easy Pasta Primavera
Pasta Primavera is a fun dish to say and an even easier one to make. Bursting with veggies and bright flavors this pasta does well as the main event or served beside a lean protein like baked salmon or chicken. You could even slice grilled chicken and add it to the pasta for a little extra protein.
I’m not kidding when I say this may be one of my new favorite pasta dishes. And as a lifelong pasta addict that is saying something. But really what is not to like here? Delicate spring veggies are coated in a light and creamy white parmesan sauce then wrapped up in al dente fettuccine.
I mean, does it get much better than that?
Primavera in Italian literally means “spring” so the name Pasta Primavera translates to “spring pasta.” The name may have you assuming that the dish comes from Italy, but actually, it’s an American invention. Or more specifically it’s the creation of Italian Americans who mixed the seasonal produce they found here in the US in the spring with a traditional cream sauce and noodles.
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What vegetables should you use in a primavera?
As the name implies typically this dish uses spring vegetables. But there is lots of room for flexibility when it comes to what to add. For this recipe I tried to stick with the seasonal theme and used the following veggies:
- Sun Dried tomatoes
But if you wanted to experiment with other veggies I would consider trying:
- A southwest inspired pasta with corn, peppers, and black beans
- A fall veggie pasta with broccoli, brussel sprouts, squash and kale
How to Make Pasta Primavera
Start with chopping your vegetables and putting on water to boil for pasta. Most primavera’s use a penne noodle, but I really enjoy long noodles that can be twisted up with the veggies. So for this recipe, I chose a flat fettucini noodle. Once the veggies are chopped let them cook over medium heat in a large skillet with a little bit of olive oil. Covering the skillet with allow steam to build in the pan and cook the veggies a little quicker.
Once the veggies have cooked so that they are soft but not mushy (about 10 minutes) add two tablespoons of flour to the skillet. Gently toss the vegetables in the flour until they are well coated. The flour is going to act as a binder here to thicken the sauce.
If you want a gluten-free option try using cornstarch or tapioca flour instead. If you go this route I would decrease the amount of flour you initially use to one and a half tablespoons.
Add the milk to the pan and stir slowly over medium heat allowing the sauce to thicken. This will take anywhere from 10-15 minutes. Be sure to stir often to make sure none of the veggies are burning. Once the sauce has reduced and thickened add the grated parmesan cheese. Let this melt completely.
If your sauce stays a tad runny, don’t worry, the addition of the pasta will add some starch to the mix and help it firm up. Just be sure to not rinse the pasta once it is al dente, this will leave enough of the starchy pasta water to help bind the dish.
Toss the pasta with the sauce and there you have it, a delicious and easy to make pasta primavera!
Easy Pasta Primavera
- 1 small zucchini diced
- 1/2 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small broccoli crown
- 1/2 lb asparagus, chopped
- 1/2 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 lb fettuccine noodles, cooked
- 1 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- 2 tbsp flour
Wash and chop vegetables and set water on to boil for the pasta.
In a large skillet or pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil (or cooking oil of choice) over medium heat add garlic and stir until fragrant. Next add all of the veggies except the frozen peas to the pan. Once water boils add the pasta.
Let the veggies cook for about 8 minutes or until mostly tender. Add frozen peas and cook until thawed and soft.
Drain cooked pasta but do not rinse.
Add 2 tbsp flour to the pan of veggies and gently toss to coat. Add milk and stir slowly over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken. This will take 10-15 minutes. Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted.
Add pasta and toss to coat. Serve pasta with extra parmesan cheese for topping.
If you try this recipe out or choose to make one of the variations listed above let me know in the comments below or shoot me an email! And don’t forget to join the email list or follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more easy recipes and kitchen tips.
Until we cook again!
~ Chloe M.