Springtime Pasta Primavera


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!


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.


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.


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,


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


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!)


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. ; )


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


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.


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.


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! ; )


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

Springtime Pasta Primavera

serves 3-4


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


  • 1/2lb gluten-free 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


  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.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

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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  1. Dana 06.03.2013

    I’m going to put that pasta on my menu for next week.
    And you don’t need a mustache on a stick… you need a mustachifier! :)

  2. What a beautiful shower! They really did a wonderful job!

  3. Tracy 06.03.2013

    Love the bow tie theme! So darling!

    You look great! What a fun weekend.

  4. Jen 06.03.2013

    Your shower theme was so cute. Love it! And you’ll love being a Mama. Seriously, while I’ve loved my life, the last 6.5 months with my little man have been the best!

  5. I love pasta primaveras! So bright & colorful. Golf tournaments are surprisingly sort of fun! I remember being surprised how much drinking goes on!

  6. What an adorable shower!! The theme is just too cute. I am wondering what that second cupcake was called ;)

    • Kristin from MN 06.03.2013

      Yes I was wondering the same thing??? Everything was so cute!!! And your dress is adorable!

    • heather 06.03.2013

      liiiiike…maybe it had a name on it? i was wondering too lol! :)

  7. What an ADORABLE shower!! The attention to detail really just makes it that much cuter!

  8. What an adorable baby shower!! They really did an amazing job. Im loving this pasta, it screams springtime! I love your maxi dress too, where is it from?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 06.03.2013

      Thanks! It’s from Old Navy and actually cuts off right below the knee – kind of wish it was floor length, but oh well!

  9. Nicola 06.03.2013

    Looks so cute!

    On the menu board.. is something photoshopped out “baby _______ blackout cupcakes”? Baby’s name?! :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 06.03.2013

      It’s just my last name. It’s easily found on the internet, but I’m still paranoid like that. :) We haven’t told anybody the name yet, save for a friend whom I accidentally blabbed it to a few weeks ago – d’oh! ;)

      • Kristina 06.04.2013

        Good idea not to tell people the name! They all have opinions and most of them aren’t good. When I was pregnant with my daughter I told a co-worker we had picked the name “Audrey”. His response was that he went to high school with a real slut named Audrey. Nice.

        We named her Audrey anyway of course. Like Audrey Hepburn thankyouverymuch! :)

  10. bah! simon birched. as a verb. i snort-laughed at that. what an adorable baby shower theme, so creative! i wish i had that skill.

  11. lauren m. 06.03.2013

    You had me at gemelli.

  12. Paige 06.03.2013

    Our taste buds must be thinking alike! I was meal planning last night and remembered you made a dish similar to this in the past (Garden Veggie Skillet) so searched for the recipe to add to the list!

    PS – Super cute baby shower!! Love the theme!

  13. Michelle Burken 06.03.2013

    I was in that race! The 20k anyway. It was gorgeous weather that morning!

  14. Abby 06.03.2013

    This pasta looks amazing! Definitely going to try and make it soon. My sister and I went to the Farmer’s Market this past Saturday, and it took us close to 30 minutes to find parking. We ended up parking in the East Village, which wasn’t a bad walk. Something to keep in mind for next year when the Dam to Dam is going on :)

  15. Kelly 06.03.2013

    I just had my first Scratch cupcake today! So very good. We were given a box as a gift. I didn’t even know it existed.

  16. That bow tie theme is SO cute!! I love that there was even bow tie pasta! How fitting ;).

  17. What a beautiful shower!!! Congratulations again :)

  18. Dawn 06.03.2013

    Very cute! I especially love the antique ironing board. Now I have to find one!

  19. Kimberly 06.03.2013

    Looks like you had such a great time at your baby shower! Cannot wait to meet your new addition!

  20. nessa 06.03.2013

    So adorable! Really excited for you guys :-)
    The pasta looks fantastic!

  21. Julia 06.03.2013

    I love pasta dishes that I can make using my farmers market finds. This looks fresh, healthy and yummy!

  22. Tieghan 06.03.2013

    Such a pretty shower! Huge congrats again!

    Love this pasta. The veggies with the pasta look SO good!

  23. Trisha 06.03.2013

    SUCH a cute shower! While I’m technically a party planner, I never get to do fun details like that. If I had my way, it’d be super detailed adorbs parties allll the time! This pasta reminds me a bit of Noodles & Co.’s new Garden Pesto Saute of which I’ve been a wee bit obsessive since I discovered it last month. So good!

  24. Debtgirl 06.03.2013

    The cutest baby shower ever!

  25. I’ve read your blog for a while now. Found you through Pinterest. The baby shower looks fun! I need one of those cupcake places near me. ;) Also, I was tickeled to see the picture of you and Luann and Heidi. Luann is one of my sister’s best friends. My nieces played with Heidi (& her siblings) when they were little. Small world!

  26. Summer 06.03.2013

    Oh…. my… god… I want one of my friends to get knocked up just so I can steal that theme… so stinkin’ cute!

  27. Cat Yates 06.03.2013

    What a fun idea for a baby shower! Soon, very soon. :)

  28. Amy O 06.04.2013

    Loved seeing your shower! So fun! And I will be making this pasta tonight!

  29. Arnela Dubinovic 06.04.2013

    I have enjoyed reading your blog for a while now. All the food you make looks delicious. I also enjoy your segments on KCCI news. I will be making your Baked Chicken Parmesan this weekend. Looks like you had a wonderful baby shower. I just had one of those cupcakes the other day for the first time and I am in love which is not good. Good luck with rest of your pregnancy and can’t wait to see pictures of your little guy on the blog.

  30. Michelle 06.04.2013

    The bowtie theme is so darn cute ! I feel like now mustaches are all the rage but the bowtie theme is just adorable and so modern and cute and i love the cupcakes and also how the silverware is even wrapped up ! hope you had a great time !

  31. What a cute boy baby shower! Congrats btw! This pasta dish looks so fresh and yummy. I just picked up some pasta last night and am going to make something similar this week! Yum!

  32. Delia 06.04.2013

    Made your pasta primavera recipe last night with all of those veggie left over from previous day’s BBQ and it was great! Super light and fresh!

  33. What an amazing baby shower! The bowtie theme is TOO cute!

    I pretty much live off Farmers Market meals during the spring and summer…this sounds so good! Ain’t nobody got time to simmer a tomatoey meat sauce for 45 minutes over a blazing hot stove :P

  34. Sara B. 06.04.2013

    Such a cute baby shower theme! All the food looked amazing! PS – I heard your radio commercial on my drive to work yesterday morning!

  35. Yum this looks really delicious! I have not had primavera in years but I always used to love it.

  36. Kristi 06.04.2013

    What a cute theme for a baby shower!

  37. Katie 06.04.2013

    Holy moly, without the decorations, I would have literally never in a million years thought you were pregnant via these pics… Albeit, following your blog oober closely for your next DELICIOUS dish to try out, I have known you’re having your precious baby boy for awhile but these pictures truly had me fooled!

    I’m hoped to be blessed with a baby (babyboybutofcoursenopreferenceeitherway) in the near future!)

    You’re so beautiful and talented! I have tried blogging twice now, cooking related, and failed due to time commitment and lack of camera skills or just a darn good camera at all, but you are so inspiring in SO MANY WAYS!!!!!

    Can’t wait to see pics of your little feller coming soon :)

  38. Lauren 06.05.2013

    My friend’s baby has a pacifier with a mustache attached to it. It makes for hilarious photo ops!

  39. Susan 06.05.2013

    Loved the pasta dish, will definitely make again. I added about a cup,of pasta water at the end just to keep everything moist.

  40. Lindsay 06.05.2013

    Where do you shop for all your SUPER cute maxi dresses?!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 06.09.2013

      Old Navy! It’s crazy – normally none of their non-maternity clothes fit me, but all the maternity stuff does!

  41. Amy O 06.07.2013

    Made this last night – so yummy!

  42. Madison @ E&C 06.17.2013

    And the cutest pregnant lady award goes to? You! Looking good!

  43. Meg 06.26.2013

    Well, now I feel like a stalker, but REALLY small world. I just posted that I thought I went to school with your brother, and then I see a photo of my good friend Heidi and her mom at your shower. (Reading old posts as I’m home sick today and kids have control of TV!) That whole family is some of the best people I know! Heidi threw me a shower for my first baby too. Anyway, congrats to you. Enjoying your blog. I’m new to the “blogosphere”, but a few friends led me to yours.

  44. […] And for a bit of fun, we couldn’t resist these two delightful themes: Bow ties (4) from Iowa Girl Eats that features a very doable bow tie party complete with a tasty baby shower menu, and A Pea in the […]

  45. […] Recipe and Photo credit to iowagirleats.com […]

  46. […] Soup with Crumbled Feta with Salads Monday- Crock Pot Chicken Tacos with Mexican Rice Tuesday- Springtime Pasta Primavera Wednesday-Prosciutto Arugula Pizza Thursday- Hummus Crusted Chicken Friday-My Dad will be visiting […]

  47. Sarah 04.23.2014

    This looks so delicious. I’d love to serve it at a get-together this weekend. Do you think it would be okay to make it in advance, and then either reheat it or serve it cold?

    • Kristin 04.23.2014

      Hi Sarah! This dish will taste best fresh so I would not recommend making it ahead of time!

  48. […] Pasta Primavera via iowa girl […]

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