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Healthy Pasta Primavera

healthy pasta primavera

Fresh, Spring, Bright, Veggie-filled, Nutritious, Creamy, Delicious <– This Healthy Pasta Primavera is ALL of the above, guys!

When I was growing up I hated pasta dishes where you could actually see the veggies. I always asked my mom to blend them up for me so I couldn’t make out the vegetables I was eating. And now, I’m the COMPLETE opposite. The more vegetables you can see and taste the better. And this Healthy Pasta Primavera is full of vibrant Spring vegetables, fresh basil, wonderful textures and creamy pasta. Yum.

healthy pasta primavera

ceara s kitchen

What’s your favorite kind of pasta? I have a soft spot for creamy pastas and thick and chunky sauces – haha, basically any pasta dish – period. This Healthy Pasta Primavera lies somewhere in between the two and is dayummmmm tasty!!

Pasta Primavera is basically fresh veggies, sauteed and thrown over pasta. It is traditionally often made with cream but this recipe uses a sneaky “ingredient” (if you can even call it that!). Once the pasta is cooked very aldente and drained (the pasta will keep cooking and softening up once you add in the sauce), toss in 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water (the water the pasta was cooking in) and nutritional yeastwith the pasta sauce to the pasta. Give everything a nice stir and leave it to sit for 5 whole minutes

*Note: If you have not started cooking with nutritional yeast yet, I would highly recommend getting some. It adds SUCH a delicious cheesy element to savory dishes with a ton of added health benefits and literally no fat or cholesterol. It is choc-full of zinc, b-12, selenium and SO much more. My partner is not vegan and literally LOVES this stuff on everything now (we call it our “cheese flakes” around here). If you are not on the nutritional yeast train yet, get on it! This stuff is magic 🙂

healthy pasta primavera

The pasta magically soaks up a lot of the pasta sauce and the starchy pasta water creates a creamy and light pasta sauce perfect for the Spring and the hot Summer months. Who else is ready for summer? Bring it on! But, for now, I’ll just have to “settle” for this Healthy Primavera Pasta until school is done and the summer is here. 😉

the starchy pasta

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Healthy Pasta Primavera


  • Author: Ceara
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 5 - 8 servings 1x

Description

A bright + vibrant Healthy Pasta Primavera that comes together quickly and easily for dinner. Full of family favorite vegetables like broccoli and zucchini. Gluten Free, Vegan, Oil Free.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 500 grams /18 oz spaghetti
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups white button mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 chili peppers (hot), finely chopped
  • 2 zucchinis, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup starchy pasta water
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Ground Black Pepper + Sea Salt

Optional Toppings

  • Vegan Parmesan
  • Pine nuts

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil. Add pasta and chopped broccoli to the water and cook until the pasta is very al dente. The pasta will continue cooking in the sauce after you drain it. Reserve and set aside 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, saute the red onions, garlic, mushrooms, chili peppers and zucchini in vegetable broth (adding the broth bit by bit to the vegetables) until the vegetable broth is soaked up and the vegetable are sauteed. After 5 minutes of sauteing add in the can of chopped tomatoes. saute for 2 minutes. (Keep checking on your spaghetti, making sure not to overcook it while cooking your veggies, drain it on time!)
  3. Mix in the broccoli and al-dente pasta with the pasta sauce in the large pot, add in the starchy pasta water and nutritional yeast. Stir everything together, cover and leave it to sit for 5 minutes. The pasta will soak up some of the sauce and the starchy pasta water will create a light and creamy sauce.
  4. Toss in fresh basil. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with optional toppings.

Notes

1) Use Gluten-Free pasta to ensure this recipe is gluten-free if necessary.
2) Leave out the seeds of the chili peppers or leave them out altogether if sensitive to spicy food.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Italian

this healthy pasta

If you try this Healthy Pasta Primavera, I LOVE seeing your amazing #CearasKitchen creations. Share your photos with me on Instagram @CearasKitchen (and remember to tag #CearasKitchen so I don’t miss it!) or share it on my Ceara’s Kitchen Facebook page. Wishing you a great start to your week everyone!

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  25. I am confused about the fresh basil. You have it on the ingredient list twice, but only mention it in the directions once. Because of where the 1st mention is (1/3 cup), it looks like you mean for this to be tossed in the vegetables with the tomatoes (or added to the noodles with the vegetables and starchy water), and then add another 1/2 at the end, for serving. But there is no actual explanation in the directions, so I wonder if that was a typo, or if you really add basil in two different stages?

  26. Hi, this recipe looks so good!! but I got a little lost when you started talking about the “sauce”. Not sure if im misreading this, but im not seeing what the sauce actually is…?

    1. I’ve never tried freezing this sauce. I am not sure how it would freeze but I imagine it would be fine. I would be sure to drain out the extra water on top that sometimes happens when freezing.

      Let me know if you end up trying it 🙂

  27. Looks yummo!! Just wondering how spicy it is with the hot peppers. My Mom has ulcers and can’t eat spicy so I want to be sure this won’t be too harsh on her tummy.

    I also LOVE nutritional yeast… one of the perks of becoming vegan was discovering the many wonderful products that are out there. I buy mine in bulk from Whole Foods which is bit easier on the wallet.

    Looking forward to making this on the weekend! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Melanie! Thanks for the lovely comment 🙂 If your mom has ulcers you can definitely just leave out the hot peppers and then whoever wants that added spicy “kick” can add in a bit of hot sauce after to their individual plates 🙂

      And I couldn’t agree with you more – my tastes have seriously expanded since going vegan!! I absolutely LOVE it!!

  28. Hello, I’ve never heard of nutritional yeast. What is it and where is it found. thank you! The recipe looks fabulous.

    1. Thanks so much for commenting! Nutritional yeast is different than bakers yeast. It’s purpose in this pasta is that it adds a delicious cheesy element to the dish. I love using it for its flavor and awesome nutritional profile! You can read more about it here –> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutritional_yeast.

      You can find it in health food stores or buy it here online off Amazon. You can find it here online –> http://goo.gl/mP0Hql.

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Angie! My boyfriend isn’t vegan and loves the cheesy taste of nutritional yeast. I’d definitively recommend it as a healthy staple in any kitchen!

  29. Looks amazing Ceara!! I love all if these ingredients. Looks so hearty and filling!! The colors are beautiful and I love that you added fresh basil too, looks soo good!!

    1. <3 Thank you, Mira!! Loving the salad you posted as well!! It's all about the bright colors this time of year :)

  30. What a gorgeous dish, Ceara! I absolutely love the pretty colors and flavors! And I’m also loving the broccoli and zucchini in here. Such a perfect dish for the summer. Can’t wait to try this out! Pinned!

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