Rather than being a “kitchen sink” vegetable pasta, this Pasta Primavera recipe dials in on just a few spring vegetables, making sure their colors, flavors, and textures truly shine.

Two plates of Pasta Primavera.

It’s easy to approach your Pasta Primavera the way you might approach Vegetable Stock: empty out your refrigerator crisper drawer and get cooking. Toss it all with pasta and call it primavera!

This version focuses on zucchini, asparagus, peas, and tomatoes. Cook the zucchini low and slow in olive oil saturated with fresh garlic, then add the asparagus and peas and cook for just 2 minutes. Toss it all with spaghetti, a squeeze of lemon juice, and raw, seasoned tomatoes.

It’s simple and elegant and the best way to enjoy the produce of spring. It’s also so delicious, I didn’t want to share.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Pasta Primavera Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for pasta primavera.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Cherry tomatoes: Or substitute halved grape tomatoes.
  • Spaghetti: I’ve mostly eaten Pasta Primavera with fettuccine or linguine, but I really enjoyed spaghetti here. It feels lighter (as light as a bowl of pasta can feel, anyway), and it’s fun to twirl on your fork.
  • Red pepper flakes: Add more or less to taste. Or, just pass a dish of chili flakes at the table (the spice lovers can add more until their faces are on fire).

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a small bowl, add tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and toss to combine. Set aside.
Tomatoes marinating in spices and olive oil.
  1. In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to boil. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta and return to the pot.
Cooked spaghetti draining in a colander.
  1. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil until shimmering. Add zucchini, garlic, red chili flakes, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until the zucchini is softened, about 10 minutes.
Zucchini cooking in a skillet.
  1. Add asparagus, peas, and water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until the asparagus is bright green and tender-crisp, about 2 minutes.
Zucchini and asparagus cooking in a skillet.
  1. To the pot with the pasta, add cooked vegetables, chives, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss to combine.
Pasta primavera in a bowl.
  1. Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with cherry tomato mixture and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Pasta primavera in a bowl.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Shrimp Primavera: A delicious shrimp pasta recipe in a creamy herb sauce – all made in one pot! This version features carrots, peppers, and broccoli, too.
  • Chicken Primavera: Layer grilled, sliced Lemon Pepper Chicken (or your favorite chicken recipe) on pasta before adding the tomatoes and Parmesan.
Two plates of Pasta Primavera.

Recipe FAQs

What is primavera sauce made of?

Primavera sauce varies by recipe, but this version keeps it light with olive oil, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese. You get extra flavor from the marinaded tomatoes, too.

What does “primavera” mean?

In both Italian and Spanish, primavera means spring. So, Pasta Primavera should showcase the best of spring produce and all their bright, shiny flavors.

One Pot Shrimp Pasta Primavera

My One Pot Shrimp Pasta Primavera is created with weeknight dinners in mind! This healthy 30-minute meal comes together in one pot so clean-up is a breeze. Dill, onion, thyme, and garlic team up with…

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Round out your spring feast

Pasta primavera on a plate.

Pasta Primavera

Rather than being a "kitchen sink" vegetable pasta, this Pasta Primavera recipe dials in on just a few spring vegetables, making sure their colors, flavors, and textures truly shine.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Calories 708

Ingredients 

For the tomato topping

  • 6 ounces cherry tomatoes (see note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pasta:

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti (see note 2)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 zucchini quartered and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more or less, to taste (see note 3)
  • 1 pound asparagus trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more, for serving

Instructions 

To make the tomato topping

  • In a small bowl, add tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Toss to combine. Set aside.

To make the pasta:

  • In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to boil. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta and return to the pot.
  • Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil until shimmering. Add zucchini, garlic, red chili flakes, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until the zucchini is softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Add asparagus, peas, and water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until the asparagus is bright green and tender-crisp, about 2 minutes.
  • To the pot with the pasta, add cooked vegetables, chives, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss to combine.
  • To the pot with the pasta, add cooked vegetables, chives, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss to combine.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with cherry tomato mixture and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Cherry tomatoes: Or substitute halved grape tomatoes.
  2. Spaghetti: I’ve mostly eaten Pasta Primavera with fettuccine or linguine, but I really enjoyed spaghetti here. It feels lighter (as light as a bowl of pasta can feel, anyway), and it’s fun to twirl on your fork.
  3. Red pepper flakes: Add more or less to taste. Or, just pass a dish of chili flakes at the table (the spice lovers can add more until their faces are on fire).
  4. Yield: This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  6. Shrimp PrimaveraA delicious shrimp pasta recipe in a creamy herb sauce – all made in one pot! This version features carrots, peppers, and broccoli, too.
  7. Chicken Primavera: Layer grilled, sliced Lemon Pepper Chicken (or your favorite chicken recipe) on pasta before adding the tomatoes and Parmesan.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 708kcalCarbohydrates: 100gProtein: 22gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 136mgPotassium: 830mgFiber: 9gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1678IUVitamin C: 42mgCalcium: 139mgIron: 5mg
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Comments

  1. This was fantastic!! I had recently been reminiscing about this dish I’d had at a restaurant once (and theyve since closed down), and was craving it. Never made it myself before, and was so happy this was so similar to the restaurants version. I didnt add the mushrooms or peas, but everything else was perfect. Definitely a winner in my house. ❤❤5 stars

  2. Delicious! This recipe is easy to adapt to personal preferences for types of vegetables, garlic strength, cheese or pasta used. I used everything but zuccini, since I didn’t have any on hand. Instead, I used the whole 8 oz container of mushrooms. I was able to combine the last of several penne and rotini shaped pastas to declutter the pantry. I don’t usually have white wine, but adjusting the amount of broth is an option. I prefer chicken broth but vegetable broth will work. It would be easy to add chicken or shrimp into the mix. This recipe printout made it to “page protector status” in my notebook. :-) This is one great customizable dish!5 stars

  3. I love the recipe! It reminds me of some of the best pasta primavera that I get at some of my favorite NYC restaurants . And it is so true, the more veggies you add the better. It makes it a perfect dish to make during the summer after hitting up all of the fresh farmer’s markets!!5 stars