Pasta Primavera is a light and delicious pasta dish loaded with fresh spring vegetables!
A simple parmesan cream sauce brings it all together for a quick weeknight meal or a light dinner on a warm summer night!
What is Pasta Primavera?
Although it may sound fancy, this dish was actually created in the USA in the 1970s (foodtimeline).
In Italian, “primavera” means spring. Literally, it means the first “prima” green “vera.” Throw a little pasta in the mix and you’ve got a perfect spring veggie dish.
This dish is hearty and filling enough for a chilly winter day but light and fresh enough for the heat of summer.
A load of veggies, a creamy sauce with parmesan and spices.
VEGGIES: Asparagus and peas are commonly included in a primavera recipe but feel free to add other vegetables from your garden or the market. Summer squash, fresh tomatoes, broccoli or even spring onions.
PASTA: Medium or long pasta both work in this recipe, use what you have on hand. Cook pasta al dente as it’ll cook a little bit more when tossed with the sauce.
SAUCE: The sauce pulls it all together! Chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you prefer) and cream are simmered and thickened. A little bit of parmesan cheese is added to give the sauce a little zip.
How to Make Pasta Primavera
- Sauté vegetables with garlic & butter, add chicken broth & cream and simmer for a few minutes (per the recipe below).
- Combine cornstarch and a bit of water or broth and add to the sauce to thicken.
- Stir in parmesan and pasta. Serve immediately.
Tips for Perfect Primavera
- Don’t overcook the veggies, you’ll want them to be a little bit tender-crisp.
- Cook the pasta al dente as it will cook a little bit more in the sauce (and do not rinse the pasta).
- When draining, reserve a bit of pasta water. This can be added to the pasta to help the sauce stick a bit better and adjust the consistency as needed
- Saving a half cup of pasta water is a great way to thicken a sauce because of the starch that cooks out of the pasta. Or, freeze leftover pasta water in ice cube trays and use it to thicken soups, sauces, and dressings as needed.
- Always cut veggies in uniform sizes so they sauté at the same rate. Short on time? Frozen veggies can be used in Pasta Primavera and do not need to be thawed before adding to the pan.
Perfect Veggie Pastas
- Baked Feta Pasta – a one-dish wonder
- Italian Tortellini Salad
- Easy Spinach Lasagna
- Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta
- Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
Did you make this Pasta Primavera? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
- 12 ounces medium pasta cooked
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 cup zucchini sliced
- ½ cup asparagus trimmed
- ½ cup bell pepper diced, red, yellow or orange
- ⅔ cup grape or cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup petite peas
- ½ cup snow peas
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ cup parmesan cheese shredded
- Cook pasta al dente according to package directions and set aside.
- In a large skillet add butter, and melt over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute.
- Add zucchini, asparagus, peppers and cook 1 minute more. Add broth, bring to a simmer and let cook 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp.
- Stir in heavy cream, peas and tomatoes and simmer an additoinal 2-3 mintues.
- Make a slurry by combining cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of broth or water. Whisk the cornstarch into the pan until the sauce thickens.
- Stir in parmesan and pasta. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)