Pasta Primavera

This pasta primavera recipe is bursting with fresh veggies and a creamy Parmesan sauce! It’s a veggie-packed dinner that pleases…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This pasta primavera recipe is bursting with fresh veggies and a creamy Parmesan sauce! It’s a veggie-packed dinner that pleases everyone.

Pasta Primavera

Looking for a vegetarian pasta to impress? Try Pasta Primavera, the Italian-sounding American dish from the 1970’s that’s here to liven up your mealtimes! There are many ways to make a primavera, so here’s our spin. Tender pasta is mixed with spring vegetables like asparagus, broccolini, peas and carrots, then tossed with a creamy, luxurious Parmesan sauce. You won’t want the bowl to end!

The story behind pasta primavera

Pasta Primavera is an American pasta dish featuring fresh vegetables invented in the 1970’s. The dish was created by a New York chef named Sirio Maccioni at the home of an Italian businessman in Nova Scotia of all places. The dish mixed butter, cream, cheese, pasta and fresh vegetables, and went on to become popular all over the world. While it doesn’t sound like a revolutionary combination to our modern ears, it was the first of its kind.

Pasta Primavera

What’s in this pasta primavera recipe?

Since then, Pasta Primavera has popped up on restaurant menus across the globe, popularly at Italian American chains like Olive Garden. There’s really no “correct” way to make this dish: no specifications on the exact sauce or the type of vegetables. Primavera means spring in Italian, so often you’ll see it with spring vegetables like asparagus and carrot. But just as many spins use summer vegetables like zucchini and tomatoes: so there’s a lot of variation!

In our opinion, a good Pasta Primavera should feature spring vegetables just like the title indicates, so that’s what we’ve used here. The veggies are accessorized with a creamy Parmesan sauce that makes everything taste irresistible. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Pasta: any shape! we like tortelli (shown), but any short or long shape works
  • Olive oil
  • Baby bella mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Leek: leek is a uniquely tasty spring vegetable; substitute shallot if you can’t find it
  • Broccolini: we love the elegant shape of broccolini here! You can substitute broccoli
  • Peas
  • Carrot
  • For the sauce: butter, garlic, flour, milk and Parmesan cheese

The basic idea? Cook the pasta, saute the veggies, make a quick cream sauce and mix it all together. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve warm.

Tips for cooking pasta to al dente

When it comes to any pasta dish, here’s the key: cook the pasta to the perfect al dente. Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian: pasta that’s tender with a firm center. Overcooked pasta turns out rubbery and unappetizing. Interestingly, it also has less nutrients and makes you less full. Here are some tips on how to cook pasta to al dente:

  • Set your timer a few minutes before the package instructions indicate. The timing on many pasta packages makes for overcooked pasta. Start taste testing the pasta a few minutes before the package says to.
  • Taste test and look for small white fleck at the core. You want to catch it right when there’s a small white fleck at the core, or just when it disappears.
Pasta Primavera

Making the pasta primavera sauce

A few tips on the pasta primavera sauce: the sauce is a quick Parmesan sauce made with a roux. A “roux” is flour and butter cooked together (usually equal parts) that’s sed to thicken sauces. The cooking does go quickly, so you’ll want to understand the basic idea before you start.

  • Measure out the ingredients first, and don’t leave the stove. The cooking process goes so fast, you’ll want to have everything measured in advance.
  • Melt butter and saute the grated garlic 30 seconds. Be careful not to overcook: you don’t want it to brown!
  • Add flour and whisk constantly. Whisk constantly and cook just until it’s a golden color; be careful not to overcook.
  • Whisk in the milk gradually. Add a splash of milk and whisk constantly, then keep adding a few splashes at a time until the sauce is smooth. Simmer for several minutes, and the roux will thicken the sauce! It may feel like it won’t thicken, but just wait: it will come together in about 5 minutes.

Serving pasta primavera

This pasta primavera recipe takes a little over 30 minutes to make, but it’s pretty hands on: you don’t have a lot of waiting time to prep other items. So to make it into a meal, you’ll want some quick and simple sides. You can also add cooked protein to make the dish more filling. Here are a few ideas:

Pasta Primavera

More pasta recipes

Love pasta at mealtime? Here are a few that will make dinnertime delicious:

This pasta primavera recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan and plant-based, substitute 1 ½ cups Vegan Alfredo Sauce for the sauce ingredients. For gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

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Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This pasta primavera recipe is bursting with fresh veggies and a creamy Parmesan sauce! It’s a veggie-packed dinner that pleases everyone.


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces pasta (tortelli is shown)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch (1 pound) asparagus, tough ends removed, sliced in half and cut into small pieces
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced into half moons and washed (or 1 large shallot, thinly sliced)
  • 1 bunch broccolini (or 1 crown broccoli), cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed under warm water
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 ½ tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 small garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups 2% milk
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring a salted pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente (taste testing a minute or two before the package instructions indicate). Drain and toss the pasta with a bit of olive oil.
  2. Meanwhile, prep the vegetables as noted above. In a dutch oven or large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Cook mushrooms for 4 minutes, until starting to brown. Add asparagus, leeks, broccolini, carrots and ½ teaspoon kosher salt and cook additional 4 to 5 minutes until asparagus is tender and bright green. Add peas and continue cooking until peas are bright green, about 1 minute.
  3. In a small or medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the grated garlic and cook 30 seconds until fragrant but not browned. Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute to 90 seconds, until bubbly and golden. Add a splash of milk and whisk it in: the sauce will instantly turn chunky. Constantly whisking, continue to add splashes of milk and whisk them in until the entire quantity is incorporated and the sauce is smooth. Reduce the heat and whisk until the sauce thickens and no longer tastes like raw flour, about 5 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon kosher salt and the Parmesan cheese.
  4. Drain the pasta, then add it to the skillet with the veggies and stir in the sauce. Taste and add the additional ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Serve warm, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese. Leftovers store well refrigerated.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Pasta
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Pasta primavera, pasta primavera recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

BEET SALAD WITH GOAT CHEESE, ARUGULA AND BLUEBERRIES

A light salad, the best partner for a dry red wine

A light spicy salad, the best partner for a dry red wine.


Beet, Arugula, Goat Cheese and Blueberries Salad

Recipe

PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
5 minutes 10 minutes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 300 g (10 oz) cooked beets (boiled or baked)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) soft goat cheese
  • 30 g (1 oz) walnuts
  • 30 g (1 oz) cashews
  • 70 g (2.5 oz) blueberries
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1.5 tbsp honey
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp non-spicy mustard

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Coarsely chop the walnuts. In a dry skillet, toast the cashews along with the walnuts.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl. Add a couple pinches of salt.
  3. Peel and slice the beets. Put them in a bowl with the dressing and stir it. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Layer the beets, cheese slices, arugula, and blueberries. Sprinkle with nuts. Serve.

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What to Cook This Week?

Miznon in Paris

Miznon is hard to write about, because once inside, it’s hard to describe what’s going on. To figure out the menu, or the structure, can take some doing. It’s better just to go in with blind faith and have the experience, without trying to control or understand it. That said, I’m not a picky eater but I do like structure. So since I’m not a…

Miznon is hard to write about, because once inside, it’s hard to describe what’s going on. To figure out the menu, or the structure, can take some doing. It’s better just to go in with blind faith and have the experience, without trying to control or understand it.

That said, I’m not a picky eater but I do like structure. So since I’m not a regular at Miznon, on my first visit I had to unravel what’s on the menu since it’s a jumble of words and phrases. In other words, don’t expect a precise list with menu titles in this post. But if you go, the counter people are helpful, if hurried. And the experience is part of the fun. (If you’ve been to Tel Aviv, where Miznon originated, you know that some of the best places to eat are more free-wheeling than restaurants elsewhere.)

Continue Reading Miznon in Paris...

25 Ways To Make Vegetables Taste Good

A roundup of 25 delicious vegan recipes that show how to make vegetables taste good! Featuring salads, soups, stir-fries, burgers and so much more. Plenty of gluten-free and oil-free options.  I have to admit that I have never been someone that dislike…

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This article was written and published by Oh My Veggies. It may not be reproduce or republished without permission of the author. The original article can be found here: 25 Ways To Make Vegetables Taste Good.

12 Easy Ways To Eat More Fruits And Vegetables

We all know how good for us (and delicious) it is to eat wholesome, colourful foods. These 12 tips will give actionable guidance to anyone who wants to eat more fruits and vegetables, keeping this change simple, long-term and tasty! ‘Eat more fruits an…

We all know how good for us (and delicious) it is to eat wholesome, colourful foods. These 12 tips will give actionable guidance to anyone who wants to eat more fruits and vegetables, keeping this change simple, long-term and tasty! ‘Eat more fruits and vegetables’ often appears on many people’s lists of health goals –...

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This article was written and published by Oh My Veggies. It may not be reproduce or republished without permission of the author. The original article can be found here: 12 Easy Ways To Eat More Fruits And Vegetables.

Easy Power Bowls

This veggie power bowl makes an irresistibly healthy dinner or lunch! Serve roasted and fresh veggies with a whole grain…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This veggie power bowl makes an irresistibly healthy dinner or lunch! Serve roasted and fresh veggies with a whole grain and creamy sauce.

Power Bowl

The bowl meal isn’t revolutionary, but dang is it satisfying! There are millions of variations, but we think there’s always room for one more idea. Introducing our easy Veggie Power Bowl! This combination of whole grain, veggies, protein and a sauce makes dinnertime delicious. This one is irresistibly good, pairing quinoa with tender roasted broccoli and cauliflower, crunchy raw veg, and finished off with a creamy pop of tahini sauce. Serve it in a shallow bowl and well, it’s swoon-worthy.

Components in this power bowl

The formula for a great power bowl pairs a few key components to make a filling, healthy meal. When you construct it, you’ll want to think about contrasts in colors, flavors, and textures. You’ll also want to make sure that you have enough protein to keep it filling! This is a vegan protein bowl that goes big on plant-based protein. Here are the components of a great power bowl, then we’ll provide more details on each below:

  • Whole grain
  • Veggies, ideally roasted and fresh veggies for contrasts in texture
  • Protein, vegan, vegetarian, seafood or meat
  • Sauce
Veggie Bowl

Choosing your whole grain

In this power bowl we chose quinoa as the grain: but you can opt for whatever grain you’d like! Here are a few options:

  • Quinoa is a versatile whole grain that’s actually a seed, not a grain. It’s gluten-free and relatively quick to cook (about 20 minutes total).
  • Couscous is actually tiny grains of pasta: we like it because it takes 10 minutes! Use this if you have a need for speed. Keep in mind it’s not gluten-free.
  • Rice is an easy gluten-free whole grain. Try our Coconut Rice or Cilantro Lime Rice.
  • Farro is a chewy whole grain that’s similar to barley, but cooks faster. Keep in mind it’s not gluten-free.
  • Bulgur wheat is even quicker to cook: it takes 10 minutes (also not gluten-free).

For the power bowl veggies

When you think about veggies in a power bowl, it’s all about contrasts in colors, flavors and textures! That’s why we like a combination of roasted veggies and fresh veggies if possible. The hearty, savory vibes of roasted veg against the fresh crunch of fresh can’t be beat. In this power bowl we used a favorite combo of roasted broccoli and cauliflower. Here are a few other ideas in the roasted category:

Power Bowl

Protein in a power bowl

This power bowl is vegan, so it relies on a quick and easy plant-based protein: canned chickpeas! It’s our favorite idea for quick and easy vegan protein for a bowl meal. But there are lots of different ways to add protein here, including seafood. Here are a few protein options:

Sauces and drizzles

The best part of a power bowl? The sauce! Don’t overlook this aspect: it brings the dominating flavoring to your veggie bowl. Here we used our fan-favorite Tahini Sauce, a blend of lemon and creamy tahini that’s utterly irresistible (we think!). But there are many different options. Here are some favorite veggie bowl sauces:

And that’s it! Let us know what you think of this veggie power bowl and what you choose for your elements. We love this combination, but there are endless variations!

Tahini Dressing

More veggie bowl recipes

There are so many more different veggie bowl meal ideas! Here are some favorite bowl recipes:

This power bowl recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Print
Power Bowl

Veggie Power Bowls


Description

This veggie power bowl makes an irresistibly healthy dinner or lunch! Serve roasted and fresh veggies with a whole grain and creamy sauce. See above for more ideas for protein adders.


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Start the Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower.
  2. Make the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa in cold water using a fine mesh strainer, then drain and shake out the remaining water. Place it in a saucepan with 1 ¾ cups water and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer where the water is just bubbling for about 15 to 18 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed. (Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains.) Turn off the heat and let sit with the lid on to steam for 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork. 
  3. Meanwhile, prep the veggies: Drain and rinse the chickpeas, and mix them with the olive oil and kosher salt. Slice the radishes, peel and slice the kohlrabi, and shred the carrot.
  4. Make the dressing: stir together the Tahini Sauce or Sesame Ginger Dressing.
  5. To serve, place the greens in a shallow bowl, then top with the quinoa, roasted veggies, fresh veggies, and a drizzle of the sauce.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: Power bowl, veggie bowl

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

MANGO AVOCADO SALSA

A combination of ripe and juicy mango with creamy avocado, cilantro, onion, and chili.

How does it taste? So light and flavorful. A combination of ripe and juicy mango with creamy avocado, cilantro, onion, and chili. I very love this salsa.

What to serve it with? I like to eat it with shrimp or chicken and rice.

You can put together a full-bodied, delicious bowl with it. Boil basmati rice, round sticky rice, or Japanese rice. Prepare grilled shrimp or pan-fried peeled shrimp and serve with this salsa. You can also fry or roast white fish fillets or calamari.

I make this salsa with Sweet Chili Sauce. I have this naturally spicy sweet sauce without tomatoes or starch, and I add a whole tablespoon of it because I like it spicier. You can use your favorite hot sauce to taste, or finely chop fresh chili, or just add a pinch of ground chili. If you don’t like spicy, don’t add anything.

How to make Mango Avocado Salsa?


Mango Avocado Salsa

Recipe

Mango Avocado Salsa
Mango Avocado Salsa
PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
3-5 minutes 5-7 minutes 2-3 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • ½ ((200 g pulp) mango
  • 1 (220 g with pit) large or 2 small avocados
  • 2 (25 g) shallots
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce or any spicy sauce (see the options above)
  • ¼ lemon or ⅔ tbsp juice
  • 1 pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Slice the mango and avocado into small cubes. Finely dice the onion and cilantro.
  1. Mix all the ingredients, add hot sauce, salt, and lemon juice. Stir and serve immediately.


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PICKLED MELON CON JAMON

If simply serving melon slices with jamon seems too easy for you, try this recipe. It’s also a lifesaver for a melon that doesn’t taste too good.

If simply serving melon slices with jamón seems too bland to you or just lacks spice, try this recipe. It’s also a lifesaver for a melon that doesn’t taste too good. If the melon is not sweet at all, add twice as much honey. As for the jamon, if possible take jamón serrano.


Pickled Melon and Jamon

Recipe

Pickled Melon and Jamon
Pickled Melon and Jamon
PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
2-3 minutes 30-40 minutes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 300 g (10 oz) melon
  • 1tbsp (20 g) honey
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) rose wine vinegar (white, rose or balsamic)
  • 2 tbsp (30 g) water
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes
  • 1 small sprig of rosemary
  • 1 pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Remove the rind and seeds from the melon. Chop into cubes.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine honey, vinegar, water, chili flakes, rosemary, and salt. Bring to a boil.
  3. Pour the marinade over the melon and stir. 
  4. Stir the melon and marinade from time to time so that all the pieces marinate evenly. The melon is ready when the marinade cools.
  5. Serve the melon cubes separately, because otherwise the melon can make the jamon wet.

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What to Cook This Week?

THE CREAMIEST MASHED SWEET POTATOES WITH CARAMELIZED ONION

This is the most perfect creamiest mashed sweet potato. Best as a side dish to steak, duck or grilled prawns.

This is the most perfect mashed sweet potato. Very simple recipe. It has a very full, creamy flavor. That’s because we don’t boil sweet potato in a lot of water, but stew them under a lid. Perfect with caramelized onions. 

Substitutions. How to make vegan mashed sweet potatoes? You can use vegetable oil instead of butter, and you can also replace heavy cream with coconut cream. This will make your mashed potato vegan.

You can also fry the onions without honey.

Sweet potato purée make for the great side dish to baked duck leg, roasted duck or goose fillet, chicken, steak or grilled prawns.


Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Heavy Cream and Caramelized Onions

Recipe

mashed sweet potato and caramelized onions
Mashed sweet potato
PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
5 minutes 25 minutes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

For mashed sweet potato:

  • 1 sweet potato (330 g, 11½ oz)
  • 20 g (1 tbsp) butter
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz) of thin cream 10-20% fat
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz) water

For caramelized onions:

  • 1 large red onion (180 g)
  • 10 g (1 tbsp) butter
  • 20 g (½ tbsp) vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Chinese anise star (badian)
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Caramelized onions. Peel the onion and cut into half rings. Add vegetable oil to a skillet, add butter and onion. Fry over very low heat, stirring until soft. 10-12 minutes. 
  2. Add honey, Chinese anise, cinnamon, and salt. Cook for another 7-8 minutes until golden. Stir frequently. Add the vinegar. Cook for another 3 minutes.
  3. Mashed sweet potato. Peel the sweet potato and cut into small pieces. Put it in a small saucepan with a thick bottom, add the oil. 
  4. Cover with the lid and place over very low heat. Cook until the sweet potato are lightly toasted, about 10 minutes.
  5. As soon as the yams begin to change color, pour in 60 ml (2 fl oz) of water. Salt and cover with a lid. Cook over very low heat, stirring, until sweet potato are soft. Check readiness with a toothpick. 
  6. Pour in the vinegar and cream. Increase the fire. Stirring the sweet potato with a spoon, keep on the heat until the cream is hot, 10-15 seconds. 
  7. Mash the sweet potato. Use a potato masher.

For an ultra smooth texture, you will want to use can a hand blender or food processor.

  1. Taste, add salt if necessary. Place the mashed sweet potato on a plate, top with caramelized onions. 
  2. Drizzle with the oil in which the onions were fried.

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CREAMY PUMPKIN RICE PUDDING

So bright and creamy! It’s like crème brulee! Pumpkin adds amazing color and flavor to this classic rice pudding.

So bright and creamy! It’s like crème brulee! Pumpkin adds amazing color and flavor to this classic rice pudding. You can use good thick coconut cream, just don’t get coconut milk. For some reason, there many low-quality varieties among the coconut cream on supermarket shelves.

You can have this wonderful pumpkin and rice pudding not only for dessert, but also for breakfast. And if you don’t want to bother with fresh pumpkin, you can use canned. Any round rice will do. For example, rice for risotto, Carnaroli, or Arborio. By the way, if you don’t mind alcohol, add 1 tbsp brandy or Calvados right after you take the pudding off the fire, it gives an amazing flavor.

Creamy Pumpkin Rice Pudding

Recipe

Creamy Pumpkin Rice Pudding
PREP TIME COOK TIME MAKES
5 minutes 40 minutes 3-4 servings

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 400 g (14 oz) pumpkin
  • 50 g (2 oz) round rice
  • 250 ml (8½ fl oz) cream 20-30% fat (or coconut cream)
  • 30 g (1 oz) sugar
  • 3 large or 4 small yolks
  • ½ tsp natural vanilla sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Peel the pumpkin and cut into small pieces.

Choose a sauté pan that usually has the least amount of food sticking to it, or get one with a nonstick coating.

  1. Put the pumpkin, rice, sugar, vanilla sugar, salt, and cream in a saucepan. Place on a burner, bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes, covered.
  1. Remove the lid and simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Crush the pumpkin chunks with a potato masher.
  1. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the yolks into a thick creamy mass with a mixer. This takes 4-5 minutes.
  1. In batches, continuing to whisk, add the pumpkin-rice pudding to the yolks in the bowl. Not the other way around!

  1. Transfer the pudding back to the pot and return it to the burner. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until thickened, 2-2.5 minutes. Do not overheat, or the yolk will curdle.
  1. Remove from the heat and immediately pour into molds. Cool in the refrigerator.
  1. If you have a Culinary Cooking Torch: Sprinkle with sugar and caramelize with a cooking torch before serving. Serve immediately after caramelization, otherwise the sugar crust will become soft.

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