Sunday, April 15, 2012

Simple Pasta Primavera – What is Pasta Primavera? Springtime Celebration!

Simple Pasta Primavera – What is Pasta Primavera? Springtime Celebration!

There are many recipes for pasta primavera, and they come in a thousand variations. From gourmet pasta recipes which call for cream, expensive cheeses, or unusually shaped pastas, to the simplest of recipes for pasta primavera, asking for nothing but a couple of vegetables and a drizzle of oil. They are usually all delicious too – and the thing is, they are every single one an authentic pasta primavera.

Why? Because the word primavera in Italian means nothing more than spring, and so when asking ‘what is pasta primavera?’, the answer can be found in any pasta recipe that connotes spring, it’s weather, it’s warmth, and it’s fresh produce. For this reason, not only is pasta primavera a very healthy pasta dish, it is also incredibly adaptable, quick, easy and delicious. It can serve as a main dish or a side, and many recipes for pasta primavera are even fabulous cold.

This particular recipe for pasta primavera is quick, easy, delicious and adaptable. Use whatever fresh vegetables you wish – and if you luck into a bit of the best of spring veggies, such as asparagus or ramps, throw them in! Cut the roasting time for the more delicate veggies, so as not to overcook them. If you’d like, start the carrots about ten minutes before the other vegetables, or just cut them into a finer julienne and toss them all in together. Or if you are simply craving fresh, bright flavors, make this any time of year with whichever veggies you find most appealing.

Give this simple pasta primavera a shot – you’ll quickly come to love it!


  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into thin strips
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, one yellow and one red, cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, both to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 pound bowtie pasta
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved and seeded
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


Preheat oven to 450F.

In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Transfer vegetables to a large baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Place into preheated oven and roast for about 15-20 minutes. Halfway through baking time, stir the vegetables. You want the carrots to be tender, and the rest to begin to brown, but not overcooked.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of well salted (tastes like sea water) boiling water, cook the pasta until either tender or al dente – to your preference. It should take about 8-10 minutes. Drain pasta, but hang onto about a cup or so of the pasta cooking liquid.

Toss the vegetables and pasta together in a large bowl to combine. Made sure to add the oil and juices from the veggies that collect on the baking sheet. Add cherry tomatoes and Parmesan, and enough of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and serve immediately.

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