Celebrate Spring with Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera (c)2013 La Domestique

Happy first day of spring! I am so excited for warmer days, gardening, and eating tender spring vegetables. How about you? One dish I look forward to enjoying this time of year is Pasta Primavera, or “Spring Pasta.” This dish is a celebration of all things green, open to variation based on what’s available at the farmer’s market or what you have to harvest in your garden. I’ve combined asparagus, baby zucchini, basil, chive, and parsley, but peppery arugula leaves, peas, leeks, spring onions or ramps would be lovely substitutions. Lemon adds a bit of brightness and crushed red pepper contributes a surprisingly welcome heat. Crumbled soft goat cheese serves as a creamy, tangy garnish.

Serve Pasta Primavera at room temperature – it’s perfect for entertaining friends al fresco. Take advantage of the first warm day that comes your way with a bottle of crisp, refreshing white wine and a leisurely weekend lunch on the patio. Buon appetito!

Pasta Primavera (c)2013 La Domestique

Pasta Primavera

serves 6

Ingredients for Pasta Primavera (c)2013 La Domestique

Ingredients

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 3 baby zucchini
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chive
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese
  • Crushed red chile pepper flakes

Blanch the asparagus. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces, discarding the tough end of the stem. Bring a large pot of water to boil and toss in asparagus pieces. Cook for 2 min and then place the asparagus in a bowl of ice water. This process keeps the asparagus color bright green. Once cooled, drain the asparagus and set it aside.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain well and pour into a large bowl. Grate the zest from 1 lemon over the pasta. Add the juice of the lemon along with 3 tablespoons olive oil and toss to combine.

Cook the vegetables. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium flame. Thinly slice zucchini and sauté in the oil, stirring occasionally, until tender and caramelized (about 5 min). Add asparagus to the zucchini and cook just until warmed through. Pour vegetable mixture over pasta.

Toss pasta with herbs and vegetables to evenly distribute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve family-style on a large platter with crumbled goat cheese and crushed red pepper flakes at the table.

22 Comments

  1. This dish is making me even more excited for spring! We sadly had a bunch of snow arrive on Saturday morning with flurries since then, but I’m seeing a lot more sun! Can’t wait for spring veggies and this light pasta dish (and that crisp glass of wine) sounds like the perfect way to use them :)

    Reply
    • I feel you, Nicole. We’ve had a week of warm spring days, and it looks like we’ll be getting dumped on with snow this weekend. Enjoy the sunshine!

      Reply
  2. today is the first day is spring? That is exciting news and what a delightfully fresh looking dish to start the season with!

    Reply
    • It is! Happy first day of spring, Tina!

      Reply
  3. This is a beautiful dish to start spring off right! I am so excited by it I may just make it tonight. Enjoy the start of the new season and thank you for the recipe!

    Reply
    • I’m glad you’re inspired, Valerie! Have a fantastic day- enjoy the spring weather before it turns on us this weekend!

      Reply
  4. This pasta sounds so fresh and delicious! Such a perfect way to use the new spring asparagus. :)

    Reply
    • Thanks, Eileen!

      Reply
  5. Oh I can’t wait for the days of asparagus and rubber boots! Still buried under snow here with a raging blizzard as we speak. Your pasta looks wonderful and I love the light in your photos. Happy spring Jess!

    Reply
    • Oh Renee, we are supposed to get snow this weekend too. But I can tell spring is coming because of the quality of the light, as you mentioned. Happy Spring!

      Reply
  6. If you could send Spring over to the UK, that would be amazing. Nonetheless, this looks glorious.

    Reply
    • Tori,
      I’m hoping to bring spring your way in a week. :) thanks for saying hi!

      Reply
  7. Mmmmm that goat cheese wit the fresh basil leaves looks so delicious. We are in prime spring weather down here (before the humidity wreaks havoc!) and this meal would be so lovely. Are you busy, busy, busy with planning and moving activities? I sure hope so. If you do set up workshops in Ireland, I’ll have to offer up my daughter as a free assistant. She applied for the internship at “Cooks Atelier” (what a lovely site) but they had already chosen someone for the summer. She’d love to be in the background helping and learning! Food for thought…good luck!

    Reply
    • Sarah,

      Don’t know what the issue is, but your comment just appeared for me to see this evening. Sorry about that. We are so busy preparing for the move on April 1st. It’s really intense, but I’m hoping we’ll get everything taken care of. I can’t wait for the big day! I will definitely keep your daughter in mind for an internship! Knowing how wonderful you are, I would be lucky to have her at my side!

      Reply
  8. This looks so delicious – wonderful photos! I’ve never had ramps before, and after seeing your suggestion, think I need to go find them and make this pasta!

    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by, Andrea! I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      Reply
  9. This look so good and your blog is beautiful! X

    Reply
    • Thank you Ting! Love your site as well!

      Reply
  10. lovely! I’m a bit late commenting on this. I’ll be making this soon. I love this time of year for simple spring dishes!

    Kacie

    Reply
    • I agree with you, Kacie – love cooking simple dishes with bright and fresh spring flavors!

      Reply
  11. Woo Hoo! I’m so happy that spring has come. My favorite time of year. I’m so jealous of your baby zucchini – they haven’t come to market here. Ah yet another spring goodie to look forward to.
    xxoo
    E

    Reply
    • Erin,
      Aren’t baby vegetables fun? I hope you have a wonderful, bountiful spring!

      Reply

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