Creamy Pasta Primavera
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Pasta Primavera



Ribbons of vegetables combined with thin strands of pasta in a light cheese sauce. How delicious and gourmet does that sound? Well, it's easy to make, too. And the best part of making this recipe was watching Kenya down bite after bite of it.

The idea for this dish came to me after dreaming of a heavenly dish my mother used to make when I was growing up. However, her recipe called for heavy cream. I tried to lighten the sauce in my version (without giving up on flavor) by using some of the starchy water from the pasta along with a little butter and Parmesan cheese. Me and the kids had so much fun at the farmer's market buying all the veggies that go in the dish, but you should feel free to use any vegetables you have on hand. The possibilities are endless. You could even try peas, broccoli or anything that's fresh and in season. The julienned vegetables are so beautiful and thin, even kids who normally turn their noses up at them will only see the gorgeous colors in each bite and have a hard time resisting it.

Pasta Primavera  (6 Servings)

  • Prep Time: 2 mins,
  • Cook Time: 10 mins,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
Ribbons of vegetables combined with thin strands of pasta in a light cheese sauce. How delicious and gourmet does that sound? Well, it's easy to make, too. And the best part of making this recipe was watching Kenya down bite after bite of it. The...


  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 6 asparagus spears
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cored
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional for pasta water
  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated


  1. 1. Julienne the vegetables with a knife or in a food processor using the shredding blade.
  2. 2. Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water.
  3. 3. While the pasta cooks, place the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
  4. 4. Sauté the garlic for 1 minute. Add the vegetables and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Stir in the salt.
  5. 5. Strain the pasta, reserving 1/3 cup of the pasta water. Place the pasta, reserved water, vegetables, butter and Parmesan cheese in a bowl.
  6. 6. Toss to combine, and serve.
Pasta Primavera

Nutrition Information

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  1. Sara

    December 30, 2014 at 10:27 am

    The pasta and veggies came out fine, but the cheese, when added, just clumped, so instead of a delicious cheesy pasta we had a very bland pasta + veggies + giant cheese ball. This was after extremely vigorous efforts to combine all the ingredients. This would be a lot better if a cheese sauce were made on the side, then combined, vs. dumping everything in one pot and trying to get it all the mesh. I’m searching for a simple sauce recipe that I can use to fix this dish as my family wasn’t impressed.

  2. Suze Meredith

    July 24, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    This looks wonderful (and easily adapted for vegan adults) : )

  3. Annette Lopez

    June 3, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Just made this for my 21 month old daughter and she enjoyed it. Thank you for an easy, quick and yummy recipe.

  4. hmul7520

    May 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Loved the receipe <3 Just made it .. All thanks to you !!

  5. cbm

    April 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Where are you using the 1 tsp salt? Thanks!

    • catherine

      April 16, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      Step 4! After sauteeing the veggies!

  6. Pingback: Kiddie primavera. (Or, getting your kid excited to polish off her veggies.) | Make Myself at Home

  7. Tara

    July 25, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    This is absolutely AMAZING! My 15 month old is very picky about food, right now, and ate this. As a matter of fact…she cleaned her plate. This will be added to our rotation. Thanks so much!

  8. Stacy

    February 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Wow, not sure what took me so long to make this. This is so easy to make and so yummy! My 14mo old are two servings for lunch.

  9. Kristy

    October 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    This is excellent! The whole family loved it! We finished the left overs for lunch today!

  10. Annie

    October 7, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Since I’m all about shortcuts, I buy a bag of Broccoli Slaw from the grocery store. Mine has broccoli, red cabbage and carrots. That way I save time and don’t have to shred the vegetables, or wash the food processor!

  11. Theresa

    September 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    I thought it needed a bit more flavor (I think I didn’t use enough salt in the water) so I added lemon juice and it is wonderful!

  12. Colleen

    September 22, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Yum Yum Yum!! Made this last night after DD went to bed. It ended up being my dinner :) I hope she likes it at day care today.

  13. Lorrie

    September 21, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Any way to get around the butter? Would love to make this for the family, but I prefer not to eat much butter. Thanks!

    • catherine

      September 21, 2010 at 5:14 pm

      The butter really give a nice flavor to the dish, but you can not use it :)

  14. Aimee

    September 15, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Do you have any suggestions for a non-dairy substitute for Parmesan cheese? You have a lot of great recipes (this one included) that use Parmesan but my daughter has a dairy allergy.

    • Amy

      September 16, 2010 at 7:08 pm

      Aimee, my son is also dairy allergic, and I’ve found that he likes a simple garlic and olive oil sauce over a cheese substitute. I’m definitely going to make this and throw in a little extra garlic for the sauce, maybe even a little earth balance, too. I’ve used nutritional yeast a few times for some of Catherine’s breaded veggies and it’s pretty tasty. Haven’t been brave enough to try it straight on pasta. :) Good luck!

    • catherine

      September 15, 2010 at 9:21 am

      Have you ever tried nutritional yeast? It’s packed with B vitamins and has a really cheesy taste. I even make vegan mac and cheese with it before!

  15. Nou

    September 15, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Yum! I am always looking for ways to serve veggies to my 16 month old. He still gags on anything that isn’t chopped or shredded so this is perfect. I love that we skip the heavy sauce. Plus he’ll have a great time feeding this to himself