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Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)

Use fresh, seasonal vegetables for a hearty meatless meal. For the meat lovers in the family, feel free to add chicken or shrimp to this pasta recipe.


  • 1 1/2 cups baby carrots, trimmed (about 6 ounces)
  • 3 cups uncooked cavatappi or penne pasta (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups pattypan squash, halved (about 8 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup shelled green peas
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Nutrition Information

  • calories 373
  • caloriesfromfat 28 %
  • fat 11.8 g
  • satfat 6.1 g
  • monofat 3.6 g
  • polyfat 1.1 g
  • protein 13.9 g
  • carbohydrate 53.8 g
  • fiber 4.5 g
  • cholesterol 32 mg
  • iron 3.9 mg
  • sodium 731 mg
  • calcium 150 mg

How to Make It

  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a stockpot. Add carrots; cook 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add pasta to boiling water; cook according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash; sauté 3 minutes. Add carrots, peas, salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in cream and juice; cook 1 minute. Add pasta and cheese; stir well to coat. Remove from heat; stir in basil and parsley.

  3. Wine Note: Squash, peas, carrots, and an ample amount of herbs give this pasta a satisfying freshness that's made luxurious by cream and Parmesan. A crisp Sauvignon Blanc would be perfect, especially one that's refined and effortless to drink. Try Robert Mondavi Funé Blanc from the Napa Valley (about $18). (Note: Fumé Blanc is just another name for Sauvignon Blanc. See my wine column, page )

  4. Pasta Primavera with Shrimp and Sugar Snap Peas: Substitute 2 cups sugar snap peas for the green peas; cook sugar snap peas in boiling water with carrots. Substitute 1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp for pattypan squash; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in 2 cups trimmed arugula and 2 tablespoons chopped green onions with the basil and parsley. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 1/4 cups.

  5. CALORIES 501 (24% from fat); FAT 5 (sat 4g, mono 9g, poly 7g); PROTEIN 4g; CARB 3g; CHOL 204mg; IRON 5mg; SODIUM 972mg; CALC 252mg.

  6. Pasta Primavera with Chicken and Asparagus: Substitute 2 cups (1-inch) sliced asparagus for carrot. Substitute 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast for pattypan squash. Cut the chicken crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips; sauté 5 minutes. Increase green peas to 1 cup. Stir in 2 tablespoons green onions with basil ana parsley. Yeild: 4 servings (serving size:2 cups.)

  7. CALORIES 463 (24% from fat); FAT 6g (sat 4g, mono 9g, poly 2g); Protein 6g; CARB 1g; FIBER 1g; CHOL 81mg; IRON 4mg; SODIUM 773mg; CALC 154mg.