Pasta primavera is probably my favourite pasta dish, especially in the summer! It’s loaded with tons of healthy veggies, most of which I can get locally and in season, and it comes together SO FAST! Seriously, who doesn’t love a start to finish dinner in less than 30 minutes.
The key to a great pasta primavera is using what you love. Take my recipe as a guideline and run with it, adding in whatever veggies you and your family love to eat. If mushrooms are your thing (I just can’t understand this, but I accept it, as they are Bo’s thing), they would be an awesome addition (I guess). Love butternut squash? Get it in there (more my style)! Here are some of my favourite vegetables to give you inspiration.
Pasta Primavera Firm Veggie Ideas
- yellow summer squash
- butternut squash
- broccoli flouretts
Pasta Primavera Soft Veggie Ideas
- sweet peppers
- green or yellow beans
- fresh peas
Pasta Primavera Last Second Additions
- cherry tomatoes, halved
- diced green onion
- fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, etc)
- fresh grated cheese (parmesan, romano, etc)
- soft goats cheese (chevre)
- feta cheese for a greek style (add some oregano too)
There’s an order to cooking these veggies. The harder vegetables need to be softened up first, because they take longer. Things like carrots, squash, broccoli, and asparagus. Once these vegetables are starting to soften (not all the way, because you still have to cook your quick cooking veggies alongside them), it’s time to add your onions, peppers, zucchini, etc. Finally, it’s just a quick toss with your last minute add-ins, like tomatoes and fresh herbs, and you’re done.
I almost forgot the cheese. I can’t believe I almost forgot the cheese. Right at the end, just before dishing up, add a freshly grated hard cheese to the top, like parmesan. You simply can not forget the cheese (well, I guess you can, but why would you?!?!?!).
If you like quick summer pasta’s, you’ll love this:
You’re probably wondering how this could possibly be a quick and easy meal though right? I promise you, it is! First of all, while you’re heating up your pan with the oil, you’re also getting the water boiling. Then, while the veggies are sautéing, the pasta is cooking. Finally, it’s just a quick dump of the drained pasta in with the veggies and you’re basically done. Here, let me show you just how quick and easy it is:
See, I told you it was quick and easy! Ok, so maybe not QUITE as fast as that video (gotta love a time lapse!), but it’s definitely start to finish in less than 30 minutes. This makes it the perfect dinner to enjoy outside this summer with a glass of wine (or a bottle of beer, we don’t judge here).
Sorry, just one more thing…
Ok, ok, just one more little thing. This may not be everybody’s jam, but to me, there is NOTHING BETTER than this on top of pasta primavera: skip the parmesan, and instead crumble on some fresh goats cheese, also known as chevre. Yeah, pure heaven.
- 1 lb pasta (I use gemelli)
- extra virgin olive oil (very good quality)
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/8" rounds
- 2 zucchini, sliced into 1/4" rounds
- 1 large sweet onion, sliced into 1/4" strips
- 3 sweet peppers, sliced into strips (I like to use different colours)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/5 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
- **See notes for additional vegetable ideas**
- Get a large pot of salted water boiling. Add pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside while you finish cooking the vegetables.
- While the water is coming to a boil, set a large, high sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan, then add your sliced carrots. Stir occasionally until the carrots are slightly softened, but still firm in the center.
- Add the onion, zucchini, and sweet peppers to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper, and stir occasionally until softened. Add the garlic, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
- Add the drained pasta, along with a bit more salt and pepper, and a good drizzle of olive oil to slick the pasta and make sure nothing sticks to it.
- Turn off the heat and add the sliced tomatoes , stirring to mix them throughout.
- Top with the parsley and parmesan cheese just before serving.
Here are some more vegetable ideas that you can add in.
Firm veggies that get a longer saute:
carrots, yellow summer squash, butternut squash, broccoli flouretts, asparagus
Soft veggies that get a shorter saute:
sweet peppers, onion ,zucchini, green or yellow beans ,mushrooms, corn, fresh peas
Last minute additions:
cherry tomatoes (halved), diced green onion, fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, etc), fresh grated cheese (parmesan, romano, etc), soft goats cheese crumbled on top like chevre, feta cheese