Mama Mia, That’s A Great Pasta Primavera

Primavera is the Italian word for spring. But it doesn’t have to be spring to make this delightful pasta and vegetable dish. According to “…Many people think it’s an Italian dish but it’s actually an American dish which was created by chef Sirio Maccioni and two assisting chefs.” They created this classic pasta dish in the 1970s at Le Cirque, a popular New York City restaurant, and it is still a popular pasta dish today!

An odd day with a few hours of rain led me to this feast. This recipe consists of warm penne combined with sauteed vegetables and parmesan. A flavorful pasta dish ready in a flash and packed with fresh, healthy veggies.

And truly you can use any vegetables to make this meal. I happen to have zucchini from the garden on hand (duh!), as well as green beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers. So I threw them into a skillet with penne pasta and voila! It was dinner. (No sauce needed.)

As the tomatoes break down during cooking, they create saucy goodness that covers the pasta and other vegetables. 

Pasta Primavera in Summer

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  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 3 - 4 cloves garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup green beans, cooked tender-crisp and cut into 2” pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced crosswise into coins
  • 1 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced (can be combination of varieties - I used grape and roma)
  • 1 small to medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced fine
  • 4 cups penne pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch (and deep) skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and peppers and sauté a few minutes.
  3. Add zucchini and continue cooking until zucchini starts to soften.
  4. Mix in garlic, tomatoes, and green beans, and cook a few minutes longer. Tomatoes should start to break down.
  5. Combine cooked pasta into vegetables and drizzle with olive oil and half the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. To serve sprinkle with remaining parmesan and parsley on top.


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