When you have a garden that produces more cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers than two people could ever eat (we actually have to give them away we get so many), you make use of them by making as many nutritious things as you can. Since I’m rolling in tomatoes, I decided the season called for the most classic, garden-fresh pasta ever called Pasta Primavera. The dish is aptly named because “primavera” means “Spring” in Italian (and Spanish) and seeing how beautiful and vibrant the colors of the pasta is, you’ll have the flavors of Spring in your kitchen whenever the mood strikes – be it in the warmer months or when the snow falls (the market carries all these veggies, of course – no garden required).
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Prep & Roast The Veggies
Boil The Pasta
Prep The Sauce
Marry The Pasta & Sauce
The Taste Test
- 2-3 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (I like a colorful variety)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
- 1 medium red onion, sliced into thin strands
- 2 large bell peppers (any colors), sliced into strands 1/4-inch thick
- 1 large zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch disks and quartered
- 1 large yellow squash, sliced into 1/2-inch disks and quartered
- 2 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 pound mostaccioli rigati or penne rigate (or any pasta you prefer)
- 1/2 – 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- Fresh basil leaves, chopped for topping (optional)
- Roast The Veggies. Oven Option: Preheat to 450°F. Place all the veggies in a large mixing bowl and add the olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Toss until combined and then place on a large baking sheet. Shake the sheet so the veggies fall into mostly one layer. Pop in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 15-20 minutes, mixing around halfway through (keep an eye on it so nothing burns as all ovens vary). When done and all looks good, remove the baking sheet and let rest. Air Fryer Option: Preheat to 390°F. Place all the veggies in a large mixing bowl and add the olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Toss until combined and then place in the air fryer basket (the veggies will be on top of each other, but that’s fine). Air fry for 15-20 minutes, tossing a few times to ensure even roasting and making sure nothing burns. When done and all looks good, remove the air fryer basket and let rest.
- Boil The Pasta. While the veggies are roasting, fill an 8-quart pot halfway with water and place on the stove over high heat. Once it achieves a rolling boil, add the salt and reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the pasta and gently stir until fully submerged in the water. Setting a timer, cook according to the package instructions for “al dente” (or the shortest amount of time the package suggests). Once the timer goes off, take a quick moment to pause what you’re doing. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the remaining water and cooked pasta through a colander in the sink. Do not rinse the pasta once drained. Just let it rest in the colander until called for.
- Marry It All. Return the cooked and drained pasta to the pot it cooked in and add the roasted veggies on top. Toss until combined with the pasta. Follow with ½ cup of the Parmesan and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. If you want it cheesier, add up to ½ cup more Parmesan and if you want it thinner, add more pasta water until the desired consistency is reached.
- Serve immediately, topped with additional grated Parmesan and basil, if desired. Goes great with my Garlic Bread.
The beautiful thing about this recipe is you can really add or omit any vegetable you love. If you see one you don’t like, leave it out. And if you want one I don’t mention, add it in!
Make it vegan by leaving out the cheese or using a melty plant-based one.