Easy Pesto Pasta Primavera requires only 10 simple ingredients
While I love seeing what my favorite foods do when they want to pull up to all the stops and “oh” their guests, I find it even more interesting to learn what foods they eat. processed on an average weekday evening at home. Meal preparation mentioned today? It’s one of my own (and very favorite): Pesto Pasta Primavera.
The tried-and-true recipes I rely on throughout the workweek are often lighter, faster, and require fewer ingredients, which means they’re the perfect inspiration for answering the question, “What should I do?” what for dinner?” whenever it attacks. I make this Pesto Pasta Primavera at least once a week during the warm weather season.
This summer fresh pasta never satisfies my carb cravings, while filling my plate with loads of veggies that can vary depending on what’s in my fridge. Even better? It comes together in one pan, which means less time scrubbing dishes and more time soaking up those long summer nights.
Scroll to see how easy this Pesto Pasta Primavera is, along with ideas for swapping out whatever veggies you have on hand, because let’s be honest: you’re going to want to make this tonight.
(Psst… if you’re in need of easier and more inspiring evening recipes, our series My Go-To Meal Ask our favorite chefs and home-cooking enthusiasts to create simple yet outstanding meals that flow seamlessly in their homes.)
I love one-pot pasta, especially when I need to get dinner on the table quickly. Okay, you technically need another pot to cook the noodles, but I don’t count that because it’s so easy to clean. The reality The magic happens in a big pan where you throw it all together. It’s simple: You basically chop all the vegetables, toss them in the pan, then toss the cooked pasta in with some pesto and goat cheese. Then top with lots of parmesan, of course.
What kind of noodles are good?
For this one-pot pasta dish, I used Casarecce pasta — I love how the curvy shape captures the olive oil and garlic sauce and gives every bite so much flavor. Other pasta shapes that work well here are anything short and medium, mimicking those chopped veggies (think penne or fusilli.) Pesto knows no bounds, it’s delicious on all types noodles.
What vegetables can be changed into this Pesto Pasta Primavera?
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it’s infinitely customizable based on what’s at the farmers market. I’ve thrown in red bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, and even kale, all to great success. For this version, I want to switch to an all-green color scheme only feel Fresh as the season. I used asparagus, sugar-soaked peas, green onions, frozen chickpeas, fresh basil, and lots of garlic. YUM. I chop all of my vegetables to the same size so they cook evenly and quickly — you want them to be crispy, soft, and not mushy.
So you might be wondering how to swap out the other veggies into this Pesto Pasta Primavera. Here’s my summary to answer the question: How long do different vegetables take to cook when you sauté them?
- 2 Minutes: Sugar soaked peas, frozen peas and spinach
- 3 minutes: Hear better with leafy vegetables like kale, collard greens, and bok choy
- 7 minutes: Greener vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts
- 12 minutes (when chopped): Hardest vegetables like carrots, turnips and sweet potatoes
How do you cook vegetables without becoming mushy?
This isn’t an exact science as a lot depends on the size of your slice and how hot the pan is, but the idea is that you’ll want to add your veggies to the pan starting with the hardest, so they take a bit more time to cook, and gradually the vegetable layers cook faster, so they don’t get mushy. Experience comes with pinpoint timing, but the good news is that when you’re working with seasonal summer produce, you don’t have to cook them a lot for them to really taste good. So err on the side of undercooked and quick!
Look for my quick and easy one-pot Pesto Pasta Primavera recipe, and if you did, leave a comment and tag us @camillestyles on Instagram!
This post was originally published on May 27, 2021, and has since been updated.