Spring Vegetable Pasta Primavera is packed with healthy green peas and asparagus in a zingy lemon garlic sauce. Ready in 15 minutes, it’s easy and so versatile.
Spring Vegetable Pasta
Primavera means Spring in Italian, and there are not many dishes more Spring appropriate than this Pea and Asparagus Pasta Primavera!
Pasta Primavera is actually an American dish, not Italian. I believe it was first served in New York in the 1970s. There are many different variations going around but I love this all green version best.
Asparagus and Pea Pasta
I love asparagus season! Here in the UK it is very brief, running from May to the end of June. Fresh British asparagus is pretty much the quintessential taste of spring for me. The season is short, so take advantage.
If you’re making this Pasta Primavera any other time of year, you can substitute frozen asparagus, though it is not quite the same and can be soft and mushy. I would recommend substituting the asparagus for different seasonal greens – broccoli or any type of green beans are the best choice depending on the season.
I use frozen peas which are an excellent freezer staple any time of the year and sugar snap or snow peas. When they are in season broad beans (fava beans) are an excellent extra addition or substitute for the regular peas.
- Pasta – Almost any pasta shape will do well for Spring Vegetable Pasta Primavera. My personal favourite shape for this recipe is Fusilli Corti Col Buco* but penne, rigatoni and even spaghetti or linguine are all great choices.
- Peas – regular frozen peas and sliced sugar snap or snow peas.
- Asparagus – fresh is best. Use tenderstem broccoli or green beans if you can’t get fresh asparagus.
- Parmesan – leave out or use a vegetarian or dairy-free alternative depending on your diet.
- Butter – can be easily swapped for olive oil.
- Lemon – fresh is always best.
- Garlic – I use 2-3 cloves and I am a garlic lover but do feel free to add extra if you like!
Serving and Storing
- Spring Vegetable Pasta great with an Easy Green Salad on the side.
- Add protein – grilled chicken breast or fish are a really tasty addition, and grilled halloumi or paneer are great to keep it vegetarian. I sometimes add in edamame beans or swap half the pasta for some white beans to up the plant-based protein content.
- Spring Pasta Primavera is best served freshly cooked, but leftovers can be stored for up to 3 days refrigerated in an airtight container.
- Use olive oil instead of butter and skip the cheese or use a plant-based alternative to make this dish dairy-free.
- Pasta Primavera makes a great Pasta Salad dish too – use oil instead of butter and simply allow to cool and store in the fridge until ready to eat.
- Reheat in the microwave until piping hot.
- I don’t recommend freezing this recipe – when thawed the pasta and veggies will get mushy.
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do! Please leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @carrieskitchen_ if you make it!
More quick & easy pasta recipes:
- Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta
- Cherry Tomato Pasta
- Garlic Mushroom Pasta with Herby Breadcrumbs
- Bacon Brussels Sprouts Pasta
- Bacon and Pea Pasta
- Creamy Lemon Kale Pasta
Pasta Primavera with Peas and Asparagus
- 180 grams pasta
- 100 grams asparagus tips
- 100 grams frozen peas
- 100 grams sugar snap peas
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic
- 50 grams parmesan cheese grated
- 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
- small bunch chopped fresh parsley
- Remove the tough woody base of the asparagus stems – they should snap off easily. Cut the remaining parts into 3 pieces.
- Slice the sugar snap peas into thirds.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta following packet instructions until 'al dente'. Add the peas, asparagus and sugar snaps in with the pasta for the final 2 minutes of cooking.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter (or oil) over a medium-low heat in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant – be careful not to let it burn. Stir in the lemon juice.
- Reserve a cup of starchy pasta water then drain the pasta, peas and asparagus.
- Add about ¼ cup or 60ml of pasta water to the pan with the lemon juice, butter and garlic, then stir in the drained pasta and vegetables.
- Stir in the grated parmesan and parsley plus a generous pinch of black pepper (and a pinch of salt if desired). Stir in more pasta water bit by bit until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
- Season to taste with more salt, pepper and lemon juice.
- Serve garnished with extra parsley, parmesan and optional lemon wedges.