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By: Chef Laura Bonicelli

Few dishes capture the essence of the growing season quite like Pasta Primavera. Derived from the Italian word “Primavera,” which translates to “Spring,” this vibrant dish is a celebration of the season’s bounty.

Pasta Primavera overhead

about Pasta Primavera

While its origins remain somewhat mysterious, some say Canada – some say New York – this mouthwatering medley of pasta and fresh vegetables has become popular among food enthusiasts worldwide.

There are many recipes for Pasta Primavera out there using varying combinations of vegetables. The common thread is usually cream, which I didn’t include in my version. We rely on lemon juice, Parmesan, and herbs to tie the dish together with great flavors.

The heart of our healthy version of Pasta Primavera lies in using fresh, locally sourced farmers’ market vegetables. Spring and Summer welcome a dazzling array of colorful produce, and this dish beautifully showcases the best nature offers. Feel free to work with your own combination of vegetables. I always use asparagus in the early spring and sweet corn in August.

Embracing the Mindful Mediterranean approach to cooking, my version of Pasta Primavera features a blend of taste and nutrition. The Mediterranean diet, known for its health benefits, emphasizes fresh produce and healthy fats, making this dish a nutritional powerhouse. I half the usual amount of pasta and substituted beautiful spiralized zucchini.

Buon Appetito!

Snap Peas
bowl of lemons
cherry tomatoes
I hope you love this recipe!

Step by Step Instructions

Pasta Primavera overhead

Pasta Primavera

© Chef Laura Bonicelli
This Pasta Primavera recipe is a healthy, satisfying twist on the Italian-inspired Canadian/American classic. Spiralized zucchini pasta pairs perfectly with casarecce, a medley of fresh vegetables, and a light lemony Parmesan sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, MM-Blue
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6
Calories 204 kcal



  • 6 ounces dry casarecce pasta or penne
  • 2 medium-sized zucchini spiralized


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized red onion cut into thin wedges
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 large carrot peeled and julienned
  • 1 yellow bell pepper stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups snap peas cleaned


  • 2 large cloves garlic grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes


  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chiffonade basil leaves


  • chiffonade basil leaves
  • tarragon leaves
  • Maldon sea salt if desired
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Prepare your ingredients.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al-dente. Remove the pasta from the water to a bowl; keep the water boiling.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the vegetables in the order listed, stirring each to cook slightly, and mix in. Stir in the garlic, Kosher salt, and red pepper flakes. Continue to sauté until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Cook the spiralized zucchini in the boiling pasta water for 20 to 30 seconds. Drain. (I use a chinois or a strainer to submerge the zucchini in the boiling water and drain it.)
  • Add the casarecce, spirilized zucchini, lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese, and basil to the vegetables. Toss to combine.
  • Serve with julienned basil, tarragon leaves, Maldon sea salt (if desired), and a generous grind of freshly ground black pepper.


This dish is versatile. Feel free to work with your favorite fresh, seasonal farmers market vegetables.


Calories: 204kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 7gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0.1mgSodium: 218mgPotassium: 575mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 3191IUVitamin C: 100mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 2mg
Keyword mushrooms, peppers, snap peas, zucchini
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