Numerous recipes for pasta primavera exist, but most have a common theme: yummy veggies mixed with pasta and topped with Parmesan cheese. Some call for traditional preparation methods, while a few new ones utilize an InstaPot. Regardless of which recipe you use, they each fill you up with a light pasta and veggie blend that truly is tasty. Recipe developer Kristen Carli of Mostly Green shares her favorite pasta primavera recipe that calls for asparagus, yellow squash, zucchini, and grape tomatoes tied together with a red wine vinegar sauce. "In my house, we make a veggie-filled pasta at least once a week," Carli shared.
While many people think they need to avoid carb-laden pasta like this recipe, there are many different types of noodles available to cook with, including bean-based and veggie-based pastas that give it an even healthier kick. In fact, a study published by Science Daily reveals that most people can eat pasta up to three times a week without guilt.
"Unlike most ‘refined’ carbohydrates, which are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, pasta has a low glycemic index, meaning it causes smaller increases in blood sugar levels than those caused by eating foods with a high glycemic index," the study revealed.
So, give Carli’s pasta primavera recipe a try and see for yourself just how amazing it tastes.
Grab the ingredients for this pasta primavera recipe
This pasta primavera recipe calls for rotini pasta, olive oil, minced garlic, asparagus, yellow squash, zucchini, grape tomatoes, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, shredded Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and basil leaves. This quick-fix dish only takes 15 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to cook, making it perfect for those busy evenings or after a late night working. It makes six to eight servings, so it’s great for a family or perfect for a couple with leftovers for lunch. Just plan ahead by purchasing the veggies in advance and have the pasta and other ingredients ready at home.
Prepare the pasta for this pasta primavera recipe
Bring a large part of water to a boil for this pasta primavera recipe. Add one pound of rotini pasta and cook until tender. Carli noted that any type of pasta noodle can be used. "I used regular rotini pasta, but you can use tricolor, veggie, gluten free, lentil/chickpea — any pasta you like," she said.
Some people swear by adding a pinch of salt once the water reaches a boil but before adding the pasta to help prevent it from sticking. According to Chatelaine, the one thing you do not want to do is add oil to the water. You’ll end up with greasy noodles and pasta sauce that slides right off.
Switch to the veggies for this pasta primavera recipe
While the pasta is busy boiling, turn your attention to the healthy and delicious vegetables. Mince the garlic then chop the asparagus, yellow squash, and zucchini. Half the grape tomatoes. Then heat half a cup of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of the minced garlic, one cup of chopped asparagus, one chopped yellow squash, one chopped zucchini, and one pint of halved grape tomatoes. Stir occasionally for three minutes, then turn the heat down to low. Add one tablespoon of red wine vinegar and one teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
"Red wine vinegar is found near the dressings. It is more robust than white wine vinegar, which is a bit more delicate. Red pepper flakes are in the spice section," Carli shared.
Now back to the pasta for this pasta primavera recipe
While the delicious veggies are simmering in the red wine vinegar, remove the pasta from the burner and carefully drain it. Reader’s Digest shared a fantastic tip for safely and smartly draining pasta. It doesn’t make much sense to place the colander in the sink, grab a hot pot, and pour the noodles and water into it while steam blasts your face. Instead, place your colander inside the pot so it nestles there. Hold the colander tightly inside the pot and tip it sideways so the water runs out. Once drained, remove the colander, and voila, your pasta has never left the pot, and you didn’t receive an unwelcome pasta water facial. Once drained, add the pasta to the skillet and stir the dish until the pasta is completely coated in the sauce.
Additions to your pasta primavera recipe
Once the pasta has been thoroughly coated with the red wine vinegar sauce, sprinkle the pasta primavera with one cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, ten julienned basil leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. If you want to add some protein to this dish, toss in some chicken or shrimp, for example.
"For protein, diced chicken would work great. Feel free to use mozzarella balls or chickpeas for a vegetarian alternative," Carli said.
For a little extra kick, flavor, and texture, you could add smoked gouda, goat cheese, diced sausage, lobster bites, or even mushrooms. It isn’t hard to make this dish your own to meet your dietary needs.
Tips to julienne basil leaves for this pasta primavera recipe
If you’re a weekend warrior in the kitchen and aren’t sure how to julienne the basil leaves for this pasta primavera recipe, Carli shared that she lays each basil leaf flat, then stacks them on top of each other. "Then roll the stack up lengthwise and thinly slice," she said.
The Food Network advises cooks to cut off the sides and panels, then lay the item to be julienned skin side down so it doesn’t slip. Rock the knife toward yourself, starting with the point down. Be sure fingers are tucked away under your hand and away from the sharp knife blade.