In Italian, “alla primavera” simply means “in the style of springtime.” As we move further into spring, we’ll see a plethora of springtime favorites that are delicious tossed with your choice of pasta and a variety of sauce or dressing options. Throughout spring and into summer, you may see green beans, corn, fennel, green garlic, spring onions, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, snap peas, hearty greens, asparagus, bell peppers, and more—all of which, in almost any combination, are delicious in pasta primavera. Pasta primavera may be served hot or cold.
- 1 pound pasta of your choice, cooked to desired texture—farfalle (bowtie), fusilli (corkscrew), and penne all work well hot or cold
- 4–6 cups cooked veggies, cut in bite-sized pieces
- Sauce or dressing of your choice
- Veggies may be sautéed, steamed, roasted, or grilled.
- Start cooking denser veggies first, such as onion, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, etc., and add in more delicate veggies 3–5 minutes later, such as sliced zucchini, fresh corn, hearty greens, etc.
- Make sure not to overcook pasta or veggies.
- As a hot dish, pasta primavera may be tossed with a simple mixture of olive oil, chopped parsley, and freshly shaved parmesan cheese; or a variety of sauces, including marinara or other tomato-based sauce, cream sauce (such as Alfredo), or pesto.
- Cold primavera pasta salad may be lightly tossed with an oil/vinegar style dressing (bottled Italian dressing or homemade), a mayonnaise or Vegenaise-based dressing, or with pesto.
Serves 4–6. Prep and cook time vary depending on cooking method used.
Cook’s note: Cooking any veggies with a base of onion and garlic adds nice flavor, but is optional if you don’t happen to have them on hand. Almost any combination of spring or summer veggies works with this dish.