once upon a chef

Summer Pasta Primavera

Classic pasta primavera is made with heavy cream, but this version gets its richness from a combination of olive oil, butter, and pecorino romano cheese. Toasted pine nuts add more rich flavor and crunch. For the pasta, most short noodle shapes will work – good options include fusilli, penne, farfalle, gemelli, or campanelle.


– 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)

Step #1

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.

Step #2

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

Step #3

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.

Step #4

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

Step #5

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

Step #6

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.

Step #7

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. Enjoy!