Springtime Pasta Primavera

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Springtime Pasta Primavera is a light pasta dish full of fresh vegetables, tossed in a luscious sauce.

Pasta Primavera | iowagirleats.com

It was such a springy weekend – I just didn’t want to come inside! Both Saturday and Sunday had their points of dreariness and rain at one point or another, but that didn’t stop Ben and me from getting out and about.

Saturday I had my very first baby shower which had a bow tie theme – whee!

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My Mom’s dear friend Luann (of Luann’s Kale Salad!) and her daughter Heidi threw the shower and had the theme picked out before Ben and I even went to Charleston and snagged some baby gentleman gear. It was a perfect fit.

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These two know how to throw a party and thought of absolutely everything. I think party planning is a real skill, and they totally nailed it.

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From onesies with detachable bow ties hanging from a line for me to take home (Note to self: get a mustache on a stick for hilarious photo opps!) to bow tied napkin and utensil packages,

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my favorite Scratch Cupcakes (Wedding Cake and Blackout!) with bow tie printables,

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and a bow tie-themed menu – there were just so many thoughtful touches that my guests and I absolutely loved. (How adorable is that quote, btw? Snif!)

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We laughed and chatted while devouring fresh, yummy foods and cupcakes, naturally, and opening gifts. I’m sort of loving baby showers compared to bridal showers where all the attention is on the baby stuff, and not necessarily me. ; )

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Thank you Luann and Heidi for such a wonderful afternoon. I cannot thank you enough!

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Sunday, Ben and I headed out to the Principal Charity Golf Classic. It was windy and cold in the morning, revealing beautiful blue skies in the afternoon.

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We had access to the food/beer tents, so we split our time between sitting in the shade and watching the greens, and walking around checking out the first shot. Tee shot? I have no idea what it’s called. Anyway, I always feel like I’m going to get Simon Birched with a golf ball when they tee off, so we stuck mostly to the greens.

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Regardless, it was a beautiful day for walking around and enjoying golf. Never. EVER. thought I’d say that, by the way, but apparently Ben’s obsession with the sport is leaching into my own life! ; )

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Afterwards we stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few missing ingredients I needed for a fresh and springy dinner, Pasta Primavera! 

Pasta Primavera | iowagirleats.com

Primavera means “springtime” or the “spring season” in several languages, and when you combine it with pasta and a bevy of fresh vegetables enveloped in a light and luscious sauce you get a Heavenly spring or summer supper.

This dish definitely falls under myFarmer’s Market Recipe Collection as it contains all the yummy veggies that you should be seeing now, or in a very short time from now, at your local farmers’ market: asparagus, cherry tomatoes, basil, summer squash, and broccoli. Ok, we might take a little bit of help from the store for broccoli!

Pasta Primavera | iowagirleats.com

My Mom and I attempted to go to the Farmers’ Market to get the ingredients for the Pasta Primavera this Saturday morning, but there was a huge race in town and we couldn’t even find our way to the market with all the streets that were closed and blocked off. So sad!

Wherever you get your veggies, start the Pasta Primavera by choppin’ ‘em up. That includes 1/2 small sweet onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 cup chopped asparagus, 1 summer squash, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 2 cups broccoli florets, and 1/4 cup fresh basil. 

Pasta Primavera | iowagirleats.com

After your ingredients are prepped, add 1/2lb gemelli pasta into a big pot of salted boiling water. The chef at a Barilla event I attended last year told me Gemelli is derived from the Italian word for “twins” as it’s basically two ropes of pasta intertwined. Cute!

Pasta Primavera | iowagirleats.com

Gemelli happens to be my favorite cut of pasta as it’s super chewy. Use whatever short-cut of past you’ve got on hand though!

Pasta Primavera | iowagirleats.com

Add the pasta to the water then, when it has 2 minutes left to cook, add the broccoli florets. 1 minute later add the chopped asparagus and cook for 1 additional minute. Drain then return everything to the pot to keep warm.

Pasta Primavera | iowagirleats.com

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tablespoons each butter and extra virgin olive oil (sounds like a lot but it will make up the sauce for the dish too) in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent.

Pasta Primavera | iowagirleats.com

Next add the summer squash and saute for 3 minutes or so, just until it begins to soften. Then add the cherry tomatoes and garlic and saute until the tomatoes are warm and begin to burst.

Pasta Primavera | iowagirleats.com

This smelled mouthwatering!

Pasta Primavera | iowagirleats.com

I forgot to photograph the sauce making process, but all you do is add 1/2 cup chicken broth to the skillet, let it reduce for a minute, then add the drained pasta mixture, 1/4 cup half & half, and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.

Pasta Primavera | iowagirleats.com

Stir in 1/4 cup chopped basil, let the sauce sit and thicken for a minute, then add salt and pepper if necessary and enjoy!

Pasta Primavera | iowagirleats.com

Pasta Primavera

Print this recipe!

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:
1/2lb gemelli (or other short-cut pasta)
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup trimmed and chopped asparagus, about 10 thin spears
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 small sweet onion, chopped
1 yellow summer squash, sliced
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 half & half
1/4 parmesan cheese
1/4 cup basil, chopped

Directions:

  1. Add pasta to a large pot of salted, boiling water. When pasta has 2 minutes left, add broccoli florets. 1 minute later add chopped asparagus. Cook for 1 additional minute then drain and return to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat extra virgin olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat then add onion, season with salt and pepper, and then saute until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add summer squash, a touch more salt and pepper, and then saute until squash is slightly softened, 3 minutes. Add garlic and tomatoes then saute until tomatoes are warm and slightly bursting, 2 minutes.
  3. Add chicken broth to the skillet, let reduce for 1 minute, then add pasta, broccoli, and asparagus to the skillet. Add half & half, parmesan cheese, and basil to the skillet then stir to combine. Turn off heat and let sauce thicken for 1 minute then taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Pasta Primavera | iowagirleats.com

This dish is light yet decadent, and I found myself going back again and again for more forkfuls. The fresh flavors were so addicting!!

Pasta Primavera | iowagirleats.com

You can totally swap out whatever veggies you love, too, and add a grilled chicken breast or shrimp on top to please the meat-eater in your life.

Hope you enjoy!

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