Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

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A bright simple dish that pairs well with chicken and fish. Fresh veggies, pasta, garlic, lemon and parmesan cheese marry together in this Italian favorite.

Today is the perfect day to share this beautiful bright dish. It’s March 1st, the sun in shinning, and spring is just around the corner. That means longer days and hopefully more time outside. Yay!

Did you know in Italian, “primavera” means spring style; with foods, it refers to fresh vegetables. Traditional primavera is loaded with fresh veggies, pasta, herbs, heavy cream and parmesan cheese. I lightened it up a bit eliminating the cream and adding lemon for a healthy bright twist. The flavors are simple yet so good.

Let’s eat!🤍

Pasta Primavera

A bright simple dish with fresh veggies, pasta, garlic, lemon and parmesan cheese.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 5 people
Calories 521 kcal


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed if you like it garlicky, add 2 cloves and mince
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced thin
  • 6 asparagus spears, cut in 2 inch pieces make sure to cut 2 inches off the bottom and discard.
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced thin and cut in half about 2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup assorted cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 lemon, juiced or 1/4 cup
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional
  • 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 pound fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup pasta liquid
  • salt and pepper to taste



  • Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente, about 8 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.


  • While pasta cooks, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil and smashed garlic clove. Cook about 3 minutes stirring often until onion is soften and garlic is fragrant. Add Broccoli and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the veggies minus the tomatoes and herbs. Sprinkle a little more salt and sauté for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Using a hand held strainer, transfer the cooked pasta straight from the cooking liquid over to the skillet with the veggies. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes and herbs, 1 cup pasta water, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
  • Add the parmesan cheese and stir until the cooking liquid has turned creamy and the cheese is melted. Taste for additional salt and serve with more parm cheese if desired.


Veggies- There are no rules when it comes to the veggies used in primavera. Fresh is best so use what you love. 
Pasta- Common shapes used for primavera include –
  1. Penne
  2. Fusilli
  3. Rotini
  4. Cavatappi
Note- Pasta water contains a ton of starch so it’s really important you save some aside to create a sauce for the pasta and veggies. Also, transferring the pasta from the cooking liquid into the pan with the veggies is also a great way to ensure a creamy finish. 
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be understood as an estimate rather than a guarantee. The Menu Maid makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 521kcal
Keyword lemon, parmesan cheese, pasta, Primavera, Vegetarian, veggies
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