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This Pasta Primavera recipe consists of warm penne bursting with roasted vegetables and parmesan. A flavorful pasta dish ready in a flash and packed with fresh, healthy veggies. A simple one pot dish that’s ready in only 30 minutes.
Pasta primavera is your ticket to a garden-fresh dinner bursting with vibrant flavors! Imagine tender penne pasta, lightly coated in olive oil, and mingled with crisp asparagus, zesty lemon, plump cherry tomatoes, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Add a generous helping of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and you’ve got a dish that’s not only colorful but irresistibly delicious too!
Why reach for a takeout menu when you can whip up this masterpiece in your kitchen? Trust me, it’s an uncomplicated recipe that delivers a high-end restaurant experience right on your plate.
What is Pasta Primavera?
The word “primavera” means springtime in Italian. In the era before seasonal cooking was customary, pasta primavera was the recipe to order for the best and brightest of spring vegetables.
Nowadays, this veggie packed pasta is ready to serve during any season! Loaded with phenomenal, bright veggies, topped with zesty parmesan – not only does this dish taste incredible, you can feel good about eating it as well.
- Penne – You can substitute with any pasta of your choice.
- Olive Oil – You can substitute with sunflower, safflower, avocado or vegetable oil.
- Onion – Large and chopped.
- Asparagus – Fresh, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces.
- Mushrooms – Sliced. I used cremini mushrooms but you can use regular white mushrooms as well.
- Zucchini – I used a small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced.
- Carrot – A medium carrot shredded.
- Tomato – I used cherry tomatoes, cut in half. They work the best since they are bite sized. You can substitute grape tomatoes as well.
- Garlic – Use as much garlic as you like.
- Italian Seasoning – Made up of oregano, rosemary, thyme and basil. If you don’t have Italian seasoning you can use a mix of any of the above.
- Salt & Pepper – To taste.
- Red Pepper Flakes – to add a bit of heat. You can remove these if you’d like, or use more or less to your preference.
- Parmesan Cheese – You can substitute with your favourite cheese.
- Lemon – Cut into wedges, this is optional for serving.
You’re going to love how simple and satisfying this pasta primavera recipe is! Let’s walk through it together.
First, let’s get that penne cooking according to the package instructions. Make sure to save ½ cup of the pasta water before draining. We’ll use it later to get the perfect saucy texture.
Now, heat up that olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and toss in the onions. Once they’ve softened up in 2 to 3 minutes, you’ll want to add the asparagus, mushrooms, and zucchini. Cook ’em until they’re tender, which should take about 5 minutes. Feeling the fresh garden vibes already?
Next, toss in the shredded carrot, halved cherry tomatoes, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir it all together and cook for just a minute until those tomatoes begin to soften. It’s starting to smell heavenly, right?
Stir in the cooked penne, ½ cup of Parmesan cheese, and a little of that pasta water you saved earlier. This will give you the perfect consistency.
Serve the pasta in bowls and top with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Don’t forget to add a lemon wedge on the side for a little zesty twist.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use other types of pasta instead of penne?
Absolutely! Feel free to substitute penne with spaghetti, fettuccine, or even farfalle. The choice is yours; just make sure to adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions for your chosen pasta.
What other vegetables can I add to the dish?
The beauty of pasta primavera is that it’s highly versatile. You can add or substitute almost any seasonal vegetable. Think broccoli, bell peppers, peas, or spinach. Get creative and make it your own!
Can I make this dish vegan?
You bet! To make this dish vegan, simply omit the Parmesan cheese or use a vegan cheese substitute. Also, ensure that the pasta you use doesn’t contain any egg.
How can I make this pasta primavera gluten-free?
To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta and check the labels on other ingredients like Italian seasoning to ensure they are gluten-free too. It’s an easy swap that won’t sacrifice flavor.
- Use Fresh, Seasonal Vegetables: Fresh vegetables will bring out the best flavors in this dish. Don’t hesitate to swap out some ingredients for whatever is in season at your local market; freshness is key!
- Don’t Overcook the Pasta: Cook the pasta al dente according to the package instructions. Remember, it will continue to cook a bit when you mix it with the vegetables, so avoiding overcooking initially will ensure perfect texture.
- Reserve Pasta Water: Don’t forget to save some pasta water before draining. Adding a bit of the starchy pasta water helps to create a silky, cohesive sauce that binds all the ingredients together.
- Grate Your Own Parmesan Cheese: If possible, grate the Parmesan cheese yourself rather than buying pre-grated cheese. Freshly grated cheese melts more smoothly and offers a richer flavor.
- Adjust Heat with Red Pepper Flakes: If you love a bit of a kick, feel free to add more red pepper flakes. If you’re serving to kids or those who prefer milder flavors, you can reduce or omit the red pepper flakes altogether. Make it suit your taste!
Storing Pasta Primavera is a breeze. Simply place any leftover pasta in an airtight container and refrigerate. It will keep well for up to 3 to 4 days. If the pasta seems a bit dry when reheating, just add a splash of water or olive oil to bring back its original texture. Enjoying this delightful dish the next day is almost as good as the day you made it!
To freeze, transfer the pasta to an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Other Recipes To Try
- Arugula and Walnut Pesto Pasta
- Creamy Avocado and Spinach Pasta
- Bruschetta Pasta
- Italian Roasted Mushrooms and Veggies
- Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms
- Spinach Artichoke Pasta
- Caprese Salad
- One Pot Pasta
- 10 ounce penne (uncooked)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 1 pound asparagus (fresh, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 2 cups mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 small zucchini (halved lengthwise and sliced)
- 1 medium carrot (shredded)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
- 1 lemon (cut in wedges)
- Cook the penne according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water before draining.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the asparagus, mushrooms and zucchini to the skillet and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the shredded carrot, tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, stir and cook for another minute until the tomatoes begin to soften.
- Stir in the cooked penne, ½ cup of the cheese and some pasta water as needed. Serve and top with remaining Parmesan cheese and lemon wedges.
- Pasta Choice: Penne is used in this recipe, but feel free to substitute with any pasta shape you prefer, such as fettuccine or linguine.
- Vegetable Variations: This recipe is very versatile. Feel free to add or substitute vegetables according to what’s in season or your personal preferences.
- Cheese Options: Freshly grated Parmesan adds a rich flavor, but you can also try Romano or Asiago for different nuances.
- Heat Adjustment: The red pepper flakes add a hint of heat, but you can adjust the amount to taste or omit them entirely if you prefer a milder dish.
- Lemon Serving: Serving with lemon wedges adds a fresh citrus note. Encourage guests to give a light squeeze over their dish to brighten the flavors.
- Gluten-Free: For a gluten-free version, use a suitable gluten-free pasta and check the other ingredients to ensure they meet your dietary requirements.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.