Pasta Primavera was invented in the 1970s at famed New York City restaurant Le Cirque and was subsequently made famous after the recipe was published in The New York Times in 1977. Read the recipe, and you’ll wonder why it had to be “invented” at all—it’s essentially just pasta with a ton of veggies + a bit of butter, cheese and heavy cream—but hey, that’s how the story goes.
I love Pasta Primavera because you can basically make it however you want, with whatever veggies you want (we used a total of eight different veggies, if you count garlic). Ours is a lightened-up version, skipping the butter and heavy cream in favor of a bit of pasta water. If the flavor ends up being too subtle for you, feel free to add an additional bit of olive oil for richness, extra lemon juice for more acidity or even a dash of balsamic vinegar for some tang. This is such a quick and tasty springtime dish that you’re sure to love!
1 bag/box of pasta (we used Vegetable Radiatore from Trader Joe’s)
1 red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into sticks
1 bunch asparagus, thick ends cut of and cut into pieces
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
8 oz. button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/2 bag frozen peas
2 T. olive oil
2 T. Italian seasoning
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried rosemary
Juice from one lemon
1 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded, plus additional for topping
Salt & pepper, to taste
1) Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat and add 2 T. olive oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and carrots to the wok and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
2) Add the remaining veggies (all except the peas), Italian seasoning, oregano and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, for eight minutes.
3) Add the peas and cook for another eight minutes.
4) Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Once done, drain but reserve 3/4 c. of the pasta water.
5) After you’ve added the peas to the veggie wok and the eight minutes is almost up, stir in the lemon juice and Parmesan cheese and remove from heat.
6) Add the pasta and 3/4 c. pasta water to the veggie wok and stir well to combine. Serve immediately, topping with additional Parmesan if desired.