Friday, May 20, 2011

Pasta Primavera

I'm sure you're all probably sick of muffin recipes by now, but don't worry, I have the perfect recipe to offer in relief. You guys probably already know that I'm a sucker for pasta. I'm usually not a huge carb-oholic (unlike my sister) - I can easily pass up bread or rice, but put a plate of pasta in front of me and it's over. Especially if it's sinful fettuccine alfredo. But with all the healthy veggies and the light sauce in this dish, I didn't feel an ounce of guilt over eating it. Whole wheat noodles add nutrition and a light nutty texture, and all the veggies add a nice crunch as well as fresh, spring-time flavor. "Primavera" means "spring" in both Spanish and Italian, and the beautiful spring colors and flavors definitely help this dish live up to its name! I'm sad to say I hadn't eaten any asparagus yet this spring until I made this, and I loved having it in this dish. You could easily substitute green beans if you're not a fan of asparagus, but try it this way at least once... the boy claims to be an asparagus-hater but he ate every vegetable in this dish without complaint. This is definitely going on the favorites list... give it a try and I bet it will wind up on yours too!

Pasta Primavera
slightly adapted from Ellie Krieger
yields 5 servings, 470 calories each

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, rinsed, and cut into thin strips
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or stock
1/2 cup 1% milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin strips with a vegetable peeler
3/4 pound whole wheat linguine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup shredded basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook garlic until soft, about 1 minute. Add peppers, asparagus, and tomatoes and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour mixture and cook 1 more minute more. Add chicken stock, milk, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until sauce has lightly thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in carrot strips.
2. Meanwhile, cook linguine according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain. Toss pasta with the vegetables and sauce. Add pasta water if necessary to loosen the mixture. Gently mix in the Parmesan and basil. Garnish with parsley, additional Parmesan, and additional basil if desired.


  1. Perfect for spring! And healthy!

  2. Oh my, that does look fantastic! I'm thinking this would be good warm or cold the next day too!

  3. What a beautiful, healthy bowl of pasta! It looks fabulous~


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