Food

Pasta Primavera: The Perfect Recipe for Your Extra Produce

A photograph of the author, Liz Ellis.

By Liz Ellis

April 26, 2019

Pasta Primavera: The Perfect Recipe for Your Extra Produce

Farmers Market Pasta Primavera

A plate of pasta and veggies.
Liz's Farmers Market Pasta Primavera.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups assorted vegetables (asparagus, mushrooms, snap peas, carrots, cherry tomatoes — any combination), cut to bite size
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound small cut pasta (penne, rotelle, farfalle)
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh spring herbs (parsley, basil)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Sauté the assorted veggies. Start with the ones that take a bit longer to cook, like carrots, and add in the softest ones last (like cherry tomatoes). Set aside when they are tender, but still a bit crunchy.
  2. Start boiling water and cook the pasta according to the package.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a large sauté pan. Add the onion and cook until it softens.
  4. Add garlic, stock and cream, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Allow the mixture to thicken for a minute or two.
  5. Add in the veggies and cook them until they are heated through.
  6. Drain the pasta and stir it into the mixture. Add a few tablespoons of pasta water if needed.
  7. Plate the dish and top each serving with the fresh herbs and parmesan.
  8. Enjoy!  Makes 4 servings

If you’re like me, summer is your very favorite time to eat good food. And if you’re lucky enough to have access to farmers markets and CSA shares, there are endless fresh goodies to be enjoyed throughout the warmer months. Sometimes though, the trick can be how to utilize anything and everything that’s fresh without having to find a special (read: “fussy”) recipe.

If this sounds familiar, this pasta primavera is a recipe that you will want to keep as one of your go-to, easy weeknight dishes. For me, the best recipes are always the ones that I can adapt to whatever I have, and this dish is great with any of the beautiful veggies from your garden or market.

Even better, this is a dish that the kids will love! It’s sort of a healthier, more colorful version of mac ‘n’ cheese. Ask the kids to help by picking out the veggies, chopping them or even arranging them according to which should go in the pan first. If they are part of the cooking process, it’s more likely that they will dig-in with smiles at dinner.

Finally, having cooked for people (including myself) with all sorts of dietary preferences, this recipe is super easy to adapt. Using gluten-free or paleo pasta is a simple way to change the recipe. Try making a cashew crème sauce if you are interested in a vegan version of this dish. 

If you give this a try, let us know how it turns out!


Story and recipe by Liz Ellis