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.

Servings: 6


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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the pasta, hot water, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Cover and bring the water to a boil over high heat.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 pasta has absorbed the cooking liquid, about 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and garlic-lemon butter.
  7. Once the cheese and butter has melted, the cooking liquid should be significantly reduced, leaving only a silky, buttery sauce.
  8. Spoon the pasta primavera into bowls and garnish each with red pepper flakes, basil, and more Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

    Recipe source: The Kitchn