When you’re in the mood for something light and “springy”, pasta is probably one of the last things that come to mind. The word primavera literally translates to Spring, and without all the butter, cream, and loads of cheese with a skimpy portion of whatever leftover veggies are in the kitchen like most restaurants serve as their primavera, it can be the perfect dish for a warm spring night out on the patio.
I packed as many crisp, green, spring veggies in this dish as I possibly could and it turned out great.
Healthy Pasta Primavera
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves at least 8
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 3 cups water*
- 1 tablespoon vegetable base (or 3 bouillon cubes)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 1 pound whole grain linguine or fettuccine
- 1 bunch green onions (green and white parts), chopped
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
- 2 medium zucchinis, diced
- 1/2 cup shelled English peas
- 1 bunch asparagus, diced
- Freshly grated Romano for topping
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and quickly blanch the basil leaves for only a few seconds (save the water for the linguine). Add the blanched basil, 1 cup of water, 1 teaspoon bouillon, 1/4 cup olive oil and garlic together in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
2. Add the linguine to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8-9 minutes then drain. Return noodles to the pot and add the basil sauce to the noodles and stir.
3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add green onions and jalapeño, cooking until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the zucchini and peas and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring frequently. Add the asparagus and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and stir in the remaining water and bouillon. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 more minutes or until asparagus is soft.
4. Add vegetable mixture to linguine mixture and stir through. Let sit for a few minutes then serve warm, topped with Romano cheese.
*You can substitute vegetable broth or stock for the water and bouillon.
Often times in May we are speeding off towards summer and forget about the season we’ve waiting so long for– so take some time to stop and “smell the flowers” and enjoy this warm and wonderful season before it gives way to the heat and bustle of summer!