One-Pot Pasta Primavera
A pasta primavera should be an unfussy yet colorful affair, ideally made with the freshest spring vegetables and herbs you can find. In such a simple dish (pasta, veggies, and cheese), good ingredients make a world of difference. Here a knob of garlic-lemon butter helps too. It combines with the starchy pasta water and Parmesan to make a zesty sauce — the gloriously creamy coating that elevates this dish from ho-hum to zip-a-dee-doo-dah.
Aside from a bit of chopping, it’s an easy dish, and its happy hodgepodge of veggies makes it perfect for weeknights when you want a healthy one-pot, one-bowl meal. If you’re feeling more gung-ho (or hungry), a grilled steak or chicken would fit nicely on the plate. Oh, and a loaf of crusty bread to sop up all that garlic-lemon butter.
Our tip: A tender Gelson’s rotisserie chicken is always a nice option in situations like these! And if you’re going to be short on kitchen time, prep all the veggies the night before — and dinner will come together in a snap.
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
2 ½ tsp kosher salt, divided
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
1 medium shallot, minced
12 oz dried penne rigate
4 cups hot water
6 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces on the bias
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup julienned carrots
¾ cup diced orange or yellow bell pepper
1 ¼ cups broccolini, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup sugar snap peas, halved on the bias
½ cup fresh or frozen peas
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
Pinch red pepper flakes
- To make the garlic-lemon butter: In a small bowl, mash the garlic and ½ teaspoon of the salt together to make a paste. Add 4 tablespoons of the butter and the lemon zest, and mash together until combined. Set aside.
- To make the veggies and pasta: In a large Dutch oven, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and sauté until it’s softened and beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the pasta, hot water, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Cover and bring the water to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat back to medium-high, uncover, and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes. Stir the pasta occasionally, loosening noodles that stick to the bottom or sides of the pot.
- Add the asparagus, zucchini, carrots, bell pepper, broccolini, sugar snap peas, and peas. Stir and cook uncovered until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the cooking liquid has reduced into a starchy sauce, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and garlic-lemon butter.
- Once the cheese and butter has melted, the cooking liquid should be significantly reduced, leaving only a silky, buttery sauce.
- Spoon the pasta primavera into bowls and garnish each with red pepper flakes, basil, and more Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Recipe source: The Kitchn