Pasta Primavera

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With roasted tomatoes, zucchini, and corn, this pasta primavera is a true ode to summer.

Fork on a blue plate with pasta primavera.

Photo by Johnny Miller (Clarkson Potter, 2021)

The word “primavera” means springtime in Italian. But, generally, when we think of pasta primavera, we think of pasta with a chorus of vegetables from any season. With roasted tomatoes, corn, and zucchini, this pasta primavera is a true ode to summer. It’s a fresh spin on the classic dish that Le Cirque restaurant made famous in the 1970s, once described by a New York Times food columnist as “by far, the most talked-about dish in Manhattan.” The dish is rich in flavor so I love serving it as a main course, but it also makes a fantastic side to grilled chicken or Italian sausage.

“This was a wonderful dish! So flavorful and satisfying but not heavy. Perfect pasta dish for summer!”

Nancy

What You’ll Need To Make Pasta Primavera

ingredients for pasta primavera
  • Cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and fresh corn kernels: These summer veggies add sweetness, flavor, and texture to the dish.
  • Shallots and garlic: Provide a savory, aromatic base for the pasta.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil: Used for sautéing the vegetables and also drizzling over the finished pasta; adds richness and enhances the flavors.
  • Fusilli (or similar shape) pasta: The twisted shape holds onto the sauce and vegetables well. Penne, farfalle, gemelli, or campanelle would also work well.
  • Butter: Adds richness and a silky texture to the sauce.
  • Herbes de Provence: A blend of dried herbs that adds a fragrant, earthy flavor.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes: Adds a touch of heat and enhances the overall flavor.
  • Pecorino Romano cheese: Adds a sharp, salty flavor that complements the vegetables. Parmigiano-Reggiano may be substituted.
  • Basil: Adds a fresh, aromatic element and brightens the dish.
  • Pine nuts: Add a nutty flavor and crunchy texture.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

To begin, combine the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, olive oil, salt, and sugar on the prepared baking sheet. Toss with your hands or a rubber spatula until the vegetables are evenly coated.

tossing tomatoes, shallots, and garlic with oil and seasoning

Arrange the vegetables in a single layer and roast at 450°F for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are starting to brown.

roasted tomatoes, shallots, and garlic

Remove the pan from the oven and add the zucchini and corn. Toss with a rubber spatula (the tomatoes will collapse; that’s okay) and spread into an even layer.

adding corn and zucchini to roasted tomatoes

Roast for 5 minutes more, until the zucchini and corn are tender-crisp.

roasted summer vegetables for pasta primavera

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente and drain.

draining pasta for pasta primavera

Add the pasta back to the pan, along with the roasted vegetables and all their juices. Add the butter, herbes de Provence, red pepper flakes, pecorino Romano, basil, and pine nuts.

mixing the pasta with the other ingredients in pot

Toss well, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

mixed pasta primavera in pot

Spoon into pasta bowls and drizzle with olive oil, if desired. Serve with more grated cheese. Enjoy!

Video Tutorial

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Summer pasta primavera on a blue plate with a fork.
Photo by Johnny Miller (Clarkson Potter, 2021)

Pasta Primavera

With roasted tomatoes, zucchini, and corn, this pasta primavera is a true ode to summer.

Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1¼ lbs (2 pints) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into ¼-inch chunks
  • 1½ cups fresh corn kernels, from 2 ears corn
  • 12 oz fusilli (or similar shape) pasta
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence (see note)
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for serving
  • ½ cup tightly packed basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts, toasted (see note)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, olive oil, salt, and sugar on the prepared baking sheet. Toss with your hands or a rubber spatula until the vegetables are evenly coated. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are just starting to brown. Remove the pan from the oven and add the zucchini and corn. Toss with a rubber spatula (the tomatoes will collapse; that's okay) and spread into an even layer. Roast for 5 minutes more, until the zucchini and corn are tender-crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain, then add the pasta back to the pan. Add the roasted vegetables and all their juices to the pasta, along with the butter, herbes de Provence, red pepper flakes, pecorino Romano, basil, and pine nuts. Toss well, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Spoon into pasta bowls and drizzle with olive oil, if desired. Serve with more grated cheese.
  4. Note: Herbes de Provence can be found in the spice section of your supermarket. Most markets carry it but if you can't find it, dried thyme may be substituted.
  5. Note: To toast the pine nuts, put them in a dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until golden in spots, about 3 minutes.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 540
  • Fat: 25 g
  • Saturated fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 66 g
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 16 g
  • Sodium: 695 mg
  • Cholesterol: 27 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • One of my favorites! Having made it a number of times, I felt confident to serve it for a dinner party. I had everything chopped and ready to go before I started the pasta so it came together quickly. In the future, I will slice the shallots right before I put them in the oven (rather than ahead of time) as they have quite a strong aroma. Guests loved it and asked for the recipe the next day!

    • — Maria on July 22, 2024
    • Reply
  • Easy but way under seasoned. The sugar was an unnecessary addition.
    I won’t make it again.

    • — Jane on July 21, 2024
    • Reply
    • The small amount of sugar brings out the sweetness in the tomatoes. Jenn suggests tasting and adjusting seasoning before serving. How about thanks for the recipe, Jenn?! My husband and I thought it was delicious!

      • — Corinne on July 22, 2024
      • Reply
  • Excellent. I served it as a side dish for grilled chicken…what a feast…nothing to change…thank you for a beautiful recipe!

    • — Lyse on July 21, 2024
    • Reply
  • This looks like another amazing recipe. Is this dish served hot or could it be served at room temperature? Or made ahead? Thank you!

    • — LM on July 21, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi LM, it’s actually good hot, cold, or at room temperature, but if I had to pick, I’d probably say hot is my favorite. And yes, you can make it ahead. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 21, 2024
      • Reply
  • This pasta is nothing short of amazing. The roasted pine nuts raise this recipe to another level!

    • — Margaret on July 20, 2024
    • Reply
  • A new summer favorite! Can’t wait to make it again!

    • — Kelley on July 14, 2024
    • Reply
  • What do you think of replacing the cheese with fresh mozzarella?

    • — Jill Griffin on June 22, 2024
    • Reply
    • Sure, Jill that would work — I’d toss mozzarella pearls in right before serving.

      • — Jenn on June 24, 2024
      • Reply
    • This is wonderful! Could it also be served at room temperature?
      Thanks!

      • — Jan on July 21, 2024
      • Reply
      • Glad you liked it! Yes, you can also serve it at room temperature.

        • — Jenn on July 22, 2024
        • Reply

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