Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera-1-16 Do you know what makes me really proud of myself as a housekeeper? When I use up the ingredients in my refrigerator or pantry that have a really high possibility of being tossed for one reason or another.

When I give new life to leftovers or salvage the one lone tomato, wrinkly carrot or whatever else may be hiding in the depths of the crisper drawers or pantry shelves, I feel like doing a jig in the middle of my tiny kitchen and then most definitely tell my husband all about my latest save. Sergi will back me up on this one.

When I recently made a batch of delicious Almond Cookies, I was left with some egg yolks, which I dutifully saved in a small bowl. I even had a specific dish in mind when I was placing them on the shelf next to my jam – Homemade Pasta.

Since it’s spring and the supermarket shelves are stocked with glorious vegetables, I really wanted to pair the pasta with a sauce and plenty of those crispy green beauties. I made my version of Pasta Primavera, and it satisfied every craving I had. Sergi and I ate it as an entree for dinner and I didn’t miss the meat at all. 

Ingredients:

12 oz. fresh pasta or 8 oz dry pasta

1 lb asparagus

1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced

1 medium yellow squash, halved and sliced

2 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 – 1/2 cup heavy cream

1/3 – 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

1-3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2- 1 cup frozen peas

1-2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

salt, pepper

Instructions:

Pasta Primavera-1 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a large rimmed baking sheet inside the oven while the oven is preheating and let it get rip-roaring hot.

This is a trick I use a lot for roasting veggies. They will immediately start to sizzle and sear, instead of heat up slowly, steam and only then, after the vegetables are already cooked most of the way, start to sear. What do you get? Mushy, ugly gray/tan vegetables.  

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Prep the asparagus by taking one of the spears and holding it towards the bottom of the spear, bend it until it naturally snaps. The part that snaps off is really tough and fibrous and you definitely don’t want to be chewing on it.

You can line up all the asparagus spears and cut off the bottom of the asparagus at the point where the first spear broke off. You can also continue snapping each spear; it will only take you a minute to do. Throw out the fibrous spear tips. (Unless you want to save them to be used in broth later.) Pasta Primavera-1-2

Pasta Primavera-1-3 Make sure the vegetables are thoroughly dried before the next step. If they are not completely dry, they will steam instead of roast in the oven.

Toss the asparagus with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss the zucchini and yellow squash with another Tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place the asparagus, the zucchini and yellow squash on the preheated baking sheet. Pasta Primavera-1-4 The baking sheet will be searingly hot, so be careful! Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Pasta Primavera-1-6

The thing about Pasta Primavera is that you can use many kinds of vegetables in this dish. Think bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, snap peas, spinach, broccoli, broccolini or carrots. I’m sure you get the idea.You can add some sautéed, roasted or grilled chicken to this dish too.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 Tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until tender and lightly golden. Pasta Primavera-1-5 Pour in the heavy cream, bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Pasta Primavera-1-7 Add the Parmesan cheese, whisk to combine.

Pasta Primavera-1-8

Pasta Primavera-1-9 Set aside and keep warm.

When the vegetables and the sauce are both ready, add the fresh pasta to the boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes only. Fresh pasta cooks SO quickly, which is why I have the rest of the ingredients ready to go before I cook the pasta.

Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the pasta water.

You can buy fresh pasta at the grocery store, and of course, you can use regular dry pasta too, whichever one that you like. I don’t care. It’s your food:). Fresh pasta contains more water so it’s heavier than dried. The general rule is to scale back the amount of dried pasta by a third when measuring by weight. In this case, you will need 8 oz of dry pasta. 

Pasta Primavera-1-11 Gently toss the pasta, roasted veggies, lemon juice, sauce, frozen peas and parsley together. (There’s no need to thaw the peas first. The heat of the pasta will zap the cold right out of them.) Pasta Primavera-1-10

Pasta Primavera-1-13

Pasta Primavera-1-14 Add some of the reserved pasta water, to loosen the sauce a bit, adding as much as you think it needs. You can garnish each serving with extra parsley and Parmesan cheese. Pasta Primavera-1-16

Pasta Primavera
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 12 oz. fresh pasta
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 2½ Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow squash, halved and sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅓ - ½ cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ - ½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1-3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½- 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1-2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • salt, pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a large rimmed baking sheet inside the oven while the oven is preheating.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. Prep the asparagus by taking one of the spears and holding it towards the bottom of the spear, bend it until it naturally snaps. The part that snaps off is really tough and fibrous and you definitely don't want to be chewing on it. You can line up all the asparagus spears and cut off the bottom of the asparagus at the point where the first spear broke off. You can also continue snapping each spear; it will only take you a minute to do. Throw out the fibrous spear tips. (Unless you want to save them to be used in broth later.)
  4. Toss the asparagus with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the zucchini and yellow squash with another Tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the asparagus, the zucchini and yellow squash on the preheated baking sheet. The baking sheet will be searingly hot, so be careful!
  5. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Meanwhile, heat the remaining ½ Tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until tender and lightly golden.
  7. Pour in the heavy cream, bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  8. Add the Parmesan cheese, whisk to combine. Set aside and keep warm.
  9. When the vegetables and the sauce are both ready, add the fresh pasta to the boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes only. Fresh pasta cooks SO quickly, which is why I have the rest of the ingredients ready to go before I cook the pasta. Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the pasta water.
  10. Gently toss the pasta, roasted veggies, lemon juice, sauce, frozen peas and parsley together.
  11. Add some of the reserved pasta water, to loosen the sauce a bit, adding as much as you think it needs. You can garnish each serving with extra parsley and Parmesan cheese.
Notes
The thing about Pasta Primavera is that you can use many kinds of vegetables in this dish. Think bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, snap peas, spinach, broccoli, broccolini or carrots. I'm sure you get the idea.You can add some sautéed, roasted or grilled chicken to this dish too.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Valentin says

    You’re an alchemist Olga:)) transforming lead into gold so to speak:) fantastic post and amazing quality photos! Keep on keeping on!!

  2. Jessica says

    I made this tonight and it was very good. I didn’t have asparagus on hand, so I roasted carrots as a substitute. Yum!

  3. Nina says

    OH MY GOODNESS!!!
    Another temptation!!!
    I made this dish yesterday but tried just a small amount of PASTA PRIMAVERA. it was gone until I came back from evening church service. (even I make 16 oz of pasta)
    However I was happy I roasted full sheet of veggie ( big zucchini, yellow squash, red, yellow and orange bell peppers, celery, carrots) and absolutely agree with Olga because THEY WERE SOOO GOOD.
    I use just half of my roasted veggie in this recipe. Rest of them I keep in my refrigerator for another time. BUT!!! probably I will not have chance to make one more time because I ate almost all of them today ):
    You know Olga, I tried this similar recipe last summer at my friend home and even copy her recipe but It take a lot of time because she fried all kind of veggie separately using four or more pans using olive oil and then mixed all ingredient together.
    Your recipe it so easy to make, the same taste or even better, healthier( using less oil) and much less time.

    THANKS AGAIN
    FIVE STARS
    THIS RECIPE WILL BE IN MY FAVORITE ALL SUMMER>

    • says

      Thanks for such a enthusiastic feedback, Nina! I am thrilled that you enjoyed the Pasta Primavera. I love how simple it is to prepare and I always roast extra vegetables just because they are so delicious, I eat them right from the pan:).

  4. olga says

    Olga- I can wait to try this! I’m really curious about the pasta. is there a taste difference between fresh and dry? is it healthier? Why do you prefer the fresh? is it faster/easier to prepare?I know it is more expensive so just wondering :)

    • says

      Absolutely, Olga. The flavor and texture of fresh pasta is completely different than dry boxed pasta. Fresh pasta is very tender and delicate and has a different taste too. I don’t know if it’s healthier or not. That would depend on the pasta. There are so many different varieties. You can certainly use regular dry pasta for this recipe, if you would prefer.

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