Sunday, April 26, 2009

Practically Pasta Primavera

I love pasta in pretty much any way, shape or form. Pasta Primavera is one of my favorite things to eat, and it’s a great way to get a big helping of vegetables in the bargain. Most of the time I eat Pasta Primavera cold: some defrosted frozen veggies, leftover noodles, and some olive oil and lemon juice. But traditionally it’s served warm (with fresh vegetables, not frozen, LOL), as below. I added Mozzarella cheese to the recipe below, so this is a tiny bit heavier than traditional Primavera, but it comes out great. If you need more protein, you could add a pound of meat of your choice: chicken is easy and would be good, but shrimp would be FANTASTIC in this. If you do that, the recipe should serve closer to 10 people.

The Recipe:
Serves 6-8

3 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into bite-size pieces
1 large yellow squash (aka summer squash), halved lengthwise and sliced into bite-size pieces
24 oz. cherry tomatoes: 12 oz whole, 12 oz halved (I use 2 of the little bags of “Nature Sweet” on the vine)
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
1 orange pepper, cut into thin strips
½ small package frozen green beans*
15 baby carrots (the ready-to-eat kind in the packages)*
2 cloves garlic, minced, OR 1 tps garlic powder
½ cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pound pasta, regular or whole-wheat (farfalle/bowtie, penne/little tubes, fusilli/corkscrews – something that will hold sauce – NOT long thin noodles)
8 oz. ovolini mozzarella OR 8 oz. whole milk mozzarella, cut into ¾-inch pieces
grated Parmesan cheese for topping
(Note: if you want to add protein to this, add a pound of cooked large shrimp.)

*Or ½ package Trader Joe’s Brittany Blend, in the frozen food aisle.

Preheat the oven to 400F. In a large baking pan, combine the whole tomatoes with the zucchini, summer squash, peppers, beans and carrots with the garlic and olive oil. Add a little salt and pepper and stir to combine. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring once.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until tender (about 8 minutes at a rolling boil). Drain, reserving 1 ladleful of the cooking liquid.

Add the roasted veggies and halved tomatoes to the pasta pot, along with the pasta, pasta water and the mozzarella. Mix thoroughly. The cheese will begin to break down a little bit, getting soft and gooey around the edges, but it won’t melt completely. (That’s how it’s supposed to be.)

Serve topped with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.


  1. Yum. That looks delicious. I am partial to pasta myself.

  2. Hi Polar Bear! I LOVE pasta. I probably like pasta more than I should, to be honest. But I figure that if I can make it in a way that's good for me, I can eat it more often.

    Um. That's what I tell myself, anyway. ;)

  3. My family loved this! Thank you thank you thank you!
    The second day we had it we added shrimp (A&A's request). It was really yummy too!

  4. Yay! I'm glad it was good; I kind of like it better with shrimp myself, but I rarely use shrimp, simply out of laziness! Ha!


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