Pasta primavera or pasta of spring is a delicious and vegetarian pasta recipe which is full of all kinds of vegetables combined with a creamy sauce.

pasta primavera

Pasta primavera

Primavera means spring in Italian, so it seemed like an excellent dish to make heading into spring. I know it’s officially still a while away. And I also know that the chances of us still getting snow and frost are pretty high. But still. My head is already in spring! And because I want to make more classic pasta recipes, I’m starting with this pasta primavera.

While I am normally a fan of pasta with as few ingredients as possible, such as pasta carbonara, pasta pesto or cacio e pepe, this is a pasta with quite a few ingredients. It does, however, contain loads of different vegetables so as far as this dish goes, you’ll be fine. (and if you really want to you can use fewer vegetables)

Pasta primavera

With which pasta?

Pasta primavera is often made with spaghetti, but I think in this case it fits better with penne because the sauce is not very thick and in my opinion fits better with penne than with spaghetti. But as with all pasta dishes; choose what you like. There are no strict rules. Although the Italians undoubtedly think otherwise. Penne for me.

The sauce that accompanies pasta primavera is not very thick. You make it by adding a little broth to the pan and whipping cream. Then you add in quite a bit of parmesan cheese. This thickens the whole thing and, if all goes well, you have a creamy sauce to go with your pasta. Pasta primavera is also often made without sauce. In that case parmesan is still added but not a traditional sauce.

Which vegetables belong in pasta primavera?

Spring is of course the time for light vegetables such as broccoli or peas. But you can put in whatever you like. I chose broccoli, sugar snap peas, peas and tomatoes.

Pasta primavera

Where does pasta primavera come from?

The funny thing is that this pasta is not from Italy at all by origin. It is apparently an American invention that admittedly was put on the menu by an Italian chef in New York.

Can I replace the whipped cream with…?

If you want less fat, you can also replace the whipping cream with milk thickened with a little cornstarch or arrowroot.

If you’re a fan of pasta dishes try this pasta with spinach too.

pasta primavera

Pasta primavera

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At what point you cook the pasta for this recipe depends a bit on the type of pasta you use. For penne, I put the pasta on about halfway through the recipe.
Decorative clock showing preparation time
Prep time 15 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes

4 people


  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 1 head broccoli broken into florets
  • 200 gr green asparagus chopped a bit smaller
  • 150 gr green peas frozen
  • 100 gr sugar snap peas
  • 200 gr tomatoes seeds removed and chopped
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes cut into small pieces
  • 300 gr penne or spaghetti
  • 60 ml vegetable stock
  • 120 ml cream
  • 150 gr parmesan cheese
  • basil
  • pepper and salt

  • Take a large pan of water and add plenty of salt to it. You will use this water to briefly boil the vegetables and cook the pasta.
  • Once the water is boiling add the broccoli florets. Cook these for about 2-3 minutes and remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Now add the sugar snaps and cook them for 5 minutes. Take these out as well. Finally, add the asparagus pieces and cook for about 1 minute. Drain all the vegetables in a colander. To stop the cooking process, you can briefly rinse them with cold water.
  • Take a large skillet or frying pan and melt the butter. Add the garlic and zucchini and sauté until the zucchini softens. Add the tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes and fry for a few minutes.
  • Now add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the cream and all the vegetables. Also now add the peas. Stir everything well. Now turn the heat down low until it is just near boiling point.
  • Add the parmesan cheese to the sauce and stir everything well. You should have a firm sauce but not too thick. If it is too thick add some extra broth or cream.
  • Now cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and stir the pasta into the sauce. Stir some of the chopped basil into the sauce.
  • Serve with extra basil on top and additional parmesan cheese if desired.

Nutrition Information per portion

Calories: 756kcal | Carbohydrates: 83g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 737mg | Potassium: 1263mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 3530IU | Vitamin C: 185mg | Calcium: 605mg | Iron: 5mg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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Simone van den Berg

Food blogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Likes to create healthy and easy recipes for daily use, but also loves the occasional sweet dish. Lives in the Netherlands with her two cats; Humphrey and Buffy. Profession: Food photographer, food blogger, recipe developer and nutritionist