Saturday, March 17, 2018

Pasta Primavera

Another family favorite! Pasta Primavera is a well-loved dish; with all the veggies, one doesn't need a side dish to complete the meal. Use your favorite combination of vegetables according to the seasonal availability or preference.

It is a bit of work to cook the veggies individually, but well worth it. If you get the family members to help with prepping the veggies or do it a day or two ahead, it goes very fast. Frozen veggies are another option if time/help is short.


I usually use penne, fusilli or angel hair pasta to make Pasta Primavera.

Any of your favorite grains may be substituted for the pasta! If opting for grains, use about 2 cups (dry) of your favorite grains, cooked according to package directions.

Other veggies maybe used instead of those given in the recipe to suit availability and preferences.

Canned crushed tomatoes maybe substituted if fresh ones are not handy.

One minced fresh hot red or green chile (or more if you like it spicy) maybe substituted for the red pepper flakes.

8 Servings


1  bunch Broccoli
1 Carrot
6-8 Asparagus spears
1 cups Green Beans
1 large or 2 small Zucchini
1  cup fresh Pea Pods, ends removed
½  cup Peas, fresh or frozen
 Salt as needed
1  tablespoon Oil, divided
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut in strips
2  cups Mushrooms, thinly sliced
 Freshly ground Black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried Red Pepper flakes
¼  cup Parsley, finely chopped
4 -6 Tomatoes, coarsely chopped
½ tsp Turmeric
¼  cup basil leaves, chopped
1  pound dried pasta, any kind
½ - ¾  cup pasta cooking liquid
⅓  cup toasted almonds or pine nuts

Extra Basil and Parsley for garnish


Trim broccoli and break into florets. Slice off ends of the zucchini. Cut into 1-inch long sticks; similar to french fries. Trim carrot and cut into 1-inch sticks. Snap off the tough ends of asparagus and cut into 1-inch pieces. Tip and tail beans and cut into 1-inch pieces. Keep the veggies separate as each one has different cooking times.

Bring a large pot of water with salt to a boil for cooking the veggies and the pasta.

While the water is coming to a boil, prepare a large bowl of iced water bath for dunking the veggies after cooking them.

Have a large bowl ready for placing the vegetables after cooking and chilling.

Cook each of the prepared veggies separately in boiling salted water to cover until crisp but just tender. Cook the fresh peas, pea pods, and zucchini for only about 1 minute. Drain well, then plunge in cold water bowl to stop cooking for just a couple of minutes; drain thoroughly. Combine the cooked vegetables in a bowl. Reserve the boiling water for cooking the pasta.

Defrost the peas if using frozen and add to the veggie bowl.

In a skillet over low-medium heat 1 tsp oil and add the garlic and bell pepper, cook until softened, about a couple of minutes. When done, add to the vegetable bowl.

In the same skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tsp of the oil and add the mushrooms and chile. Season to taste with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook about 2-3 minutes, shaking the skillet and stirring. Stir in the parsley and remove from heat.

Add the mushrooms to the bowl of vegetables.

Cook the pasta in the boiling salted water until just tender, drain well reserving about a cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

While the pasta is cooking, add the tomatoes, turmeric, salt and pepper to a large pot or wok (large enough to hold the pasta and vegetables. Cook about 5 minutes. 

Add the basil and the vegetable mixture to the large pot. Cook, stirring gently, until heated through.

Add the cooked pasta along with 1/2 cup of the liquid from cooking the pasta and mix well but without mashing the veggies tossing over very low heat.

If the sauce seems dry, add a couple of tablespoons or more pasta liquid and give it a final toss. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve the pasta primavera in warmed wide soup or pasta bowls. Sprinkle the nuts over each serving.

Serve immediately with the garnish of basil and parsley. Enjoy!!

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