This recipe for vegetarian pasta primavera is easy and can be adapted to suit your preferences. A great meatless option for dinner with plenty of flavor.
One of my favorite meatless main dish recipes is vegetarian pasta primavera. My mom used to make this, and we all loved it. In fact, when my husband and I were first married, this recipe was something we would make on a weekly basis. Years later we realize that our waistlines, and health, cannot handle too many yummy pasta dishes on a regular basis, but as they say, everything in moderation.
This is a great alternative to fried fish during lent, and more than satisfies you without any additional protein. That being said, I could see chicken or bay scallops as a nice addition.
The dish became popular in New York by a restauranteur, Sirio Maccioni, in the '70s. The name primavera normally indicates the first of spring. Although the original dish did include asparagus, a spring season crop, that's about as far as it went with spring vegetables.
My recipe does not include spring vegetables. I'm not sure when, or if mushrooms even have a season, and zucchini and broccoli are typically harvested in the summer. Still, the great thing about this combo is that you can usually buy them in the grocery store year-round.
One of the issues with this dish is getting the vegetables to cook evenly. You could try pre-cooking them in the microwave but I feel like we use that tool a little too often, and sometimes the veggies get mushy, so I usually don't. Just start with the broccoli as it is the densest. Then add the zucchini, followed by the mushrooms.
Other Vegetable Options
- Red Pepper
- Asparagus in bite-sized portions
- Chopped tomatoes
- Summer Squash
I like to use a good bit of garlic, however, you can adjust the amount or leave it out if you prefer. A little fresh herbs like basil or parsley would be a great topping, in addition to the Parmesan cheese, which is a given at our house.
- 1 pound linguine noodles
- 2 bunches fresh broccoli cut up into bite sized pieces
- 1 box sliced mushrooms
- 3 medium green zucchini cup up into slices or 1/2 rounds
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic grated
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes optional
- Start with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 clove of grated garlic on medium heat in a large skillet.
- Add broccoli and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add zucchini and saute for an additional 5 minutes
- Add mushrooms and saute for 15 to 20 minutes adding more olive oil and grated garlic as the entire mixture cooks down.
- Meanwhile cook the pasta and instead of draining it lift it directly out of the water and into the skillet if you have room.
- Add additional pasta water to the dish about 1/4 cup.
- Toss with Parmesan cheese and pepper flakes
- Serve with more Parmesan cheese and pepper flakes on the side.