On a shopping trip a few months ago, my girlfriend and I had the pleasure of stopping for a quick lunch at a tiny little Italian café. The Chef prepared a delicious Pasta Primavera while we waited and chatted about our plans for the rest of the day. Friends, when that dish came, it was so light and fresh that I couldn’t wait to recreate it when I got home.
It was a simple dish, full of olives, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula and fresh zucchini. The café made their own pesto and it was simply tossed with the hot pasta and a little olive oil. As I was watching, I was amazed that a dish this delicious and fresh could be prepared and on the table for us in less than 20 minutes.
Primavera literally means spring pasta, and is a dish often prepared with fresh vegetables. In this case, the dish uses some very thinly sliced fresh zucchini that needs absolutely no cooking at all because it retains a slight firmness when just mixed in with the hot pasta.
I’ve recently developed a new love for sun-dried tomatoes, which add incredible flavour when mixed with hot pasta and have such an intense tomato taste. Olives just add a delicious saltiness to this Pasta Primavera and are one of my favourite things to add to pasta. Worried about the meat-lovers in the house? Our whole family has enjoyed this meal several times and even the boys in the house agree that it’s very satisfying! The kids think it’s even better when served with a giant loaf of fresh crusty bread.
I was so pleased with the results of my homemade version of this Pasta Primavera that it’s been making a regular appearance on our weekly dinner rotation. We are a pasta loving family and still continue to eat it even as the days get warmer. I’m always looking for ways to lighten up pasta dishes for spring and summer. I’m even happier when there are leftovers that I can stash away in a jar for work the next day. Just a quick pop in the microwave and I’m living the deliciousness all over again.
Spring has finally arrived friends! Enjoy every blessed minute of it.
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Try these other Pasta recipes:
- 454 g of your favourite pasta
- 1 small zucchini, cut into thin rounds
- 1 cup cured Moroccan olives, sliced (or any mixed olives in oil will work)
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes (oil packed), sliced
- ½ tsp chilli flakes, or more to taste
- 4 cups baby arugula, washed
- 1 cup basil pesto
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to pkg instructions. Simply drain the pasta, don't rinse it.
- Prep the veggies while the pasta is cooking so everything is ready to mix in once the pasta is ready.
- Return the drained hot pasta to the pot, immediately stir in pesto to coat.
- Stir in zucchini, tomatoes, olives, and chilli flakes. Toss in the arugula.
- Add a generous glug of olive oil so the dish has some shine to it (it should not appear dry).
- Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately. Buon appetito!