Spring Vegetable Pasta Primavera<< All Articles
“Primavera” means Spring or Springtime in Italian, so what better way to celebrate spring than with a big helping of this delicious Pasta Primavera? It’s full of spring vegetables and laced with a creamy, buttery parmesan sauce that is decadent and light at the same time. I love to top mine with plenty of parmesan!
The recipe takes advantage of the season’s bounty by using asparagus, spinach, peas, and leeks. Tomatoes add a brightness in color and flavor.
First, boil your pasta in a large pot according to the package directions. Drain in a colander and set aside. Set the pot aside, too, as you’ll use it later on in the recipe.
Next, start with the leeks. Leeks are grown in sandy soil, and need to be cleaned well before use (see the dirt hiding in the layers?). Cut off the root end and the dark tops. Then cut your leek into quarters like shown, being careful to leave an inch or so intact at the bottom.
Rinse the leeks by swishing them around in a bowl full of water.
Cut the leeks into ½ inch slices. Make sure to quarter the bottom part of the leek (that you left intact for easy cleaning) when you get to that end.
Next, it’s time to cut the asparagus! Make sure to wash it before cutting. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus stalks, then cut into 1” pieces.
Wash and thinly slice the spinach leaves.
Wash and cut tomatoes in half.
Grate your parmesan cheese. I like to use a microplane grater to get very fine shreds of parmesan, so that it melts quickly in the sauce.
Now that you have everything prepped, heat oil in a large skillet, then add the leeks and cook for 3 minutes, until they are fragrant and getting soft.
Add the asparagus to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. At this point, the leeks will be a little caramelized, and the asparagus almost tender. You don’t want to cook the asparagus too much in this step, because you want a nice crispness in the final dish.
Add the spinach, tomatoes and peas, and cook for 4 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the asparagus is crisp tender. Set the skillet full of veggies aside, and let’s start on the sauce.
Put your large pot back on the burner, and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook until soft and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Add the half and half, parmesan, salt, and 1 cup water. Stir together until cheese is melted.
Add the cooked pasta to the pot and stir until the pasta is coated with the sauce.
Add those beautiful veggies to the pot, and stir for about 2 minutes, to make sure everything is nice and hot, and the sauce is mixed throughout.
Put it all in a big bowl and top with extra parmesan.
Serve and enjoy!
Spring Vegetable Pasta Primavera
1 lb farfalle pasta 2 tbsp olive oil 2 leeks, trimmed, quartered and cut into ½ inch slices 1 lb asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces 3 cups spinach leaves, sliced thinly 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved 2 cups frozen peas 4 tbsp unsalted butter 2 garlic cloves, minced ½ cup half and half 3 cups freshly grated parmesan, plus more for serving 2 ½ tsp salt
Cook pasta in a large pot according to box directions; drain in a colander and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook for 3 minutes, until a little soft and fragrant. Add the asparagus and cook for 5 minutes, until almost tender. Add the spinach, tomatoes, and peas; cook 4 minutes, until spinach is wilted and the asparagus is crisp tender. Set skillet with vegetables aside.
In the large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic; cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the cream, parmesan, salt, and 1 cup water. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add the cooked pasta back into the pot and stir to coat. Add the veggies and mix together; cook for 2 more minutes, to heat through. Serve with extra parmesan on top.