Pasta Primavera


Here’s a lovely pasta dish, perfect for spring. Pasta Primavera! Primavera translated means “spring.”

This tasty recipe was originally concocted in the 1970s by chef Sirio Maccioni, owner of a restaurant called Maitre D’ of Le Cirque, which is located in NYC. Its debut as an American cuisine, was a change from the usual dish’s main ingredients of local game and fish, instead was made with vegetables.

Appearing in print, as a New York Times article, the initial recipe for the creamy white sauce base includes heavy cream, chicken stock, and butter, but you can use any of these in combination or alone along with pasta water with yogurt or sour cream and even olive oil as a substitute for an equally delightful pasta meal for lunch or dinner.

You can use any broad range of green vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, green beans, broad beans of any sort, peas, or sugar snap peas. Adding mushroom and tomatoes makes for a pretty, colorful palette. Top with basil and you’ve got yourself a beautiful, fresh introduction to spring.

You can also add any meat if you prefer such as bacon, which I think is a nice touch.

Leaving out the pasta and just making it with vegetables is also a lighter, delicious option.


Pasta Primavera

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

A delightful pasta dish.

Creamy, cheesy sauce over vegetables and pasta is one to savor!


Pasta Primavera

  • 1-2 cups pasta, cooked al dente, can use angel hair, penne, or corkscrew, reserving pasta water
  • 2-4 strips bacon, cooked until crispy, then crumbled or diced, reserve fat if desired
  • 1/2 cup asparagus, cut diagonal
  • 1/4 cup yellow summer squash
  • 1/8 red, yellow, or white onion, or leek, cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, marinated or grilled
  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted, divided (if not using bacon fat or olive oil)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, chicken stock, or yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup shaved parmesan, reserve some for garnish
  • 1/4 cup Roma tomatoes, diced, for garnish
  • Sprigs of green onion, diced on diagonal, for garnish
  • Handful basil, for garnish

Pasta Primavera

  1. Cook bacon until crispy, then drain, crumble or diced, set aside, may reserve fat for cooking vegetables.
  2. In either reserved bacon fat, 1 tablespoons butter, or drizzle of olive oil, cook asparagus on medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes. Then add squash and onion, cooking until sautéed.
  3. Stir in spinach and let wilt until just cooked or can “hide” under previously cooked vegetable to soften.
  4. Create a small well or push vegetables aside and add artichoke hearts, cover pan and set all vegetables aside or on very low heat just to keep warm.
  5. In separate pan, on medium heat, heat bacon fat, remaining 1 tablespoon butter, or drizzle of olive oil, then add garlic and cook just until slightly browned.
  6. Stir in heavy cream, chicken stock, pasta water or yogurt or sour cream and cook until heated through, thinning out sauce as desired with additional stock or pasta water.
  7. Can either combine meat and vegetables with cream sauce or layer ingredients over pasta.
  8. Garnish with parmesan, tomatoes, onion, and basil.

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Erica Robbin