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Pasta Primavera: the delicious, fresh veggie pasta dish perfect for spring and summer

Total time: 35 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

When you're in the mood for a comforting, easy to make, hearty vegetarian dish, nothing hits the spot like homemade pasta primavera (literally spring pasta). This creamy pasta dish is packed with a rainbow of nutritious vegetables, tender pasta, and has a bright, zesty flavor with a subtle kick of heat thanks to the addition of red chili flakes.

Pasta primavera is so easy to customize and the homemade version takes a million times better than anything you'd get at Domino's or Olive Garden. Add your favorite veggies, spices, and seasonings to make a delicious pasta primavera that's unique to your kitchen!

What is Pasta Primavera?

You might think pasta primavera is an Italian dish, but you'd be mistaken. This mouthwatering pasta recipe originated in the 1970s. It was created by Sirio Maccioni for his famous New York City restaurant, Le Cirque.

The dish consists of lightly sautéed vegetables which are added to a combination of cooked pasta and shelled peas, then tossed with a light creamy citrusy sauce. Some versions add a pinch of chili flakes for a hint of spice, and the exact vegetables used vary from recipe to recipe.

Pasta primavera is Italian for “spring pasta”, a reference to the delicious variety of fresh vegetables used to make the dish.

What is the Best Pasta for Pasta Primavera?

You can use pretty much any type of pasta to make pasta primavera. Penne, farfalle, rigatoni, and fusilli are all popular options. You can also make pasta primavera with fettuccine, spaghetti, or tagliatelle. Use your favorite type of pasta, and you can't go wrong!

Pasta Primavera Vegetables

Most versions of pasta primavera use some combination of bell peppers, squash or zucchini, and tomatoes, with asparagus, broccoli, leeks, spinach, and corn being other options.

You can also try adding mushrooms, artichoke hearts, fava beans, and carrots to the dish. Add your family's favorite veggies to the dish for a tasty dish everyone will love.

Can You Add Chicken or Shrimp to Pasta Primavera?

Absolutely! You can easily add chicken, shrimp, or sausage to your pasta primavera for an ultra-hearty dish. For more flavor, swap out the vegetable broth for chicken broth.

Pasta Primavera Variation

There are loads of variations of pasta primavera you can try. You can make vegan pasta primavera by leaving out the heavy cream. Another vegan option is to make a red sauce with tomatoes rather than use heavy cream.

What to Serve with Pasta Primavera

Pasta primavera is fantastic with a side of homemade garlic bread or crusty Italian bread, a green salad, garlic knots, or Caesar salad.

You can also serve it with some bruschetta or cheese bread.

Tips for the Best Pasta Primavera

If you don't like spice, you can leave out the chili flakes.

If you don't have fresh veggies on hand, frozen vegetables are a suitable substitute, however, fresh vegetables will give you the best flavor.

How to Store Pasta Primavera

Let the pasta cool down slightly, then place it in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

160 g
240 g
cherry red and yellow tomatoes, chopped
150 g
carrots, peeled and chopped
zucchini, chopped
parsley, minced
1 tuft
Red onion
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice
2 to 3 tbsp
Red chili flakes


Boil salted water in a large pot. Prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the packet for al dente. Drain, and set aside.

Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.

Add the onions and zucchini.

Add carrots, peas, and tomatoes.

Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, or until just starting to soften. Don't overcook the vegetables, they should still have a bit of crunch to them.

Mix well.

Add the drained pasta, lemon juice, and red chili flakes.

Toss to combine.

Garnish with parsley, and serve with grated parmesan cheese if you want. Enjoy!

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