Pasta primavera means “spring pasta,” and since here in Austin, Texas we’ve been fully flung into the season, I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate to make for dinner last week! …It may also have to do with the fact that we are serious pasta lovers in this house. And donut lovers. Cheese lovers. And while we’re on the topic, chocolate too.
But back to the vegetables and delicious, healthy healthiness!
Around this time of year, there’s nothing better than cooking with plump, fresh and colorful vegetables. Tossed with spaghetti, cherry tomatoes and grated Parmesan, this pasta primavera with roasted carrots, bell peppers, zucchini and squash makes one va-va-voom vegetarian dinner with even better leftovers!
For the mani-vore in your life, any kind of meat or seafood tossed into this dish would make it equally delish! I sautéed some Italian sausage with herbs, but you can add grilled or pan-fried chicken or flank steak. Turkey sausage is also a winner. Firm fish such as swordfish, halibut, red snapper or salmon would make for one tasty Mediterranean meal, and shrimp would be a quick and easy add-in.
With a sprinkling of fragrant fresh basil, a side of salad and a glass of white wine (Pinot Grigio is a good pairing!), this pasta primavera made a perfectly easy and delicious weeknight meal. It may not be warm where you are just yet, but try infusing a little “primavera” in your dinner routine and you’ll be sure to enjoy this just like spring has sprung for you, too!
Yield: Makes 4 servings
1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips
1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
1 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound spaghetti
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
6 leaves fresh basil, torn
Optional: Add 1 lb. cooked meat, seafood, turkey sausage or chicken, cut into bite-sized chunks
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Arrange evenly over the baking sheets. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook 10 minutes more (20 minutes total).
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Drain and return to pot.
Toss the spaghetti with the vegetables in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and basil. If desired, top with cooked meat (suggestions above). Serve immediately.
Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis