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A square photo of pasta with vegetables in a bowl
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Pasta Primavera

A fresh and delicious vegetable packed pasta dish perfect for spring/summer. Don't forget to check out my step by step photos and tips above.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 302kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. dried penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini sliced
  • 2 yellow bell peppers sliced
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh garlic
  • 1 bunch scallions roughly chopped
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1.5 cups sundried tomatoes in oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus additional, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil or parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Cook pasta in boiling salted water in a Dutch oven until al dente, about 11 minutes.
  • Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta. Set pasta water aside. Return pasta to Dutch oven.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add zucchini, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in scallions, and lemon zest and juice. Cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
  • Add vegetable mixture to pasta in Dutch oven.
  • Add cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, salt, and pepper; stir gently to combine.
  • Add pasta water as needed, ¼ cup at a time, to loosen pasta mixture.
  • Season pasta mixture with additional salt, to taste.
  • Garnish servings with fresh herbs.

Notes

  • The beauty of pasta primavera is that you can use any quick-cooking vegetables that you like. Substitute 4 cups of your favorite chopped veggies for the zucchini and bell pepper, such as broccoli, asparagus, and/or leeks.
  • I like to cook the vegetables for this dish gently, so they don’t break apart when I toss them with the pasta.
  • If adding a tender green, such as spinach, add it to the pan with the lemon juice, and cook briefly to wilt.
  • Try to find sundried tomatoes packed in oil for this recipe. Dry-packed will work, but the tasty, ruby-tinted oil adds a rich layer of flavor to this dish. For measuring purposes, I drain the tomatoes and reserve the oil, then add it to the dish gradually as desired.
  • This isn’t a super-saucy dish; use the pasta cooking water (or sundried tomato oil) to increase the sauciness if you like.
  • When seasoning the water for cooking the pasta, be generous. You want the pasta water to taste as salty as seawater.

Nutrition

Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 643mg | Potassium: 1050mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 533IU | Vitamin C: 95mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 4mg