How’s everyone doing out there? If you’re hanging on by a thread, it’s okay. I think we’re all doing the best we can in response to an unprecedented pandemic. In the madness of preparing to socially isolate and stock my kitchen with supplies, it occured to me that many people will be cooking at home for the first time. This adds another layer of stress to an already challenging situation for those who normally go out to eat or order takeout for dinner. My goal is to help you come up with some easy and nutritious meals to feed your family during this crazy time, starting with this vegan pasta primavera.
In Italian, primavera means spring. Can we all agree it’s a great thing that spring is on its way? Yay! My original intent with this recipe was to make a classic pasta primavera with spring veggies. But you know what? I think it would be way more valuable to show you how to make dinner with whatever pasta and vegetables you have in your kitchen right now. I know we’re currently allowed to make trips to the grocery store, but why risk it? You can absolutely make do with whatever you’ve currently got.
The only pasta my local grocery store had in stock were these little 50 cent bags of mini bowtie-shaped noodles. How cute are these? Normally I would make pasta primavera with linguine or penne but pasta is pasta and these little guys are going to work fine. I’m just going to keep a close eye on them so they don’t overcook and turn into mush.
I feel a bit spoiled because the produce section of my grocery store was super well stocked on Monday morning. I picked up some mushrooms, grape tomatoes, asparagus, carrots, zucchini, and summer squash. I already had some broccoli in the fridge so I decided to use that, too. Whatever you use, aim for about five cups of vegetables all chopped into similar sized pieces for even cooking. Also, if you’re using tomatoes, throw those in just before serving to avoid a soggy mess.
Traditional pasta primavera is dressed with a light lemon cream sauce. We can achieve a similar flavor and texture by using hummus. Any flavor you have in your fridge will work! We’re going to sauté some shallot, garlic, and lemon zest, then whisk in the hummus with some veggie broth, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Drizzle it over the cooked pasta and veggies before serving. Done! This meal is fresh, light, zippy, and uplifting. I hope it brightens up your day (and your plate!) like it did mine.Print
- 8 oz. dry pasta (or gluten-free pasta)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 5 cups chopped vegetables (I used zucchini, summer squash, grape tomatoes, broccoli, frozen peas, and asparagus)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
For the sauce:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ⅓ cup hummus
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- Few twists of black pepper
- Cook the pasta according to the box or bag directions. Drain, return to the pot, and toss with a teaspoon of olive oil.
- To make the sauce, warm a teaspoon of olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and lemon zest and saute for 2 minutes.
- Scoop the hummus into the skillet and add the vegetable broth and lemon juice. Whisk to blend the hummus into the broth.
- Turn the heat to low and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until the sauce thickens a bit. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Scoop the sauce into a bowl and set aside. Carefully wipe the skillet clean.
- Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the sturdiest veggies first (broccoli, asparagus, peas) and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the softer vegetables, like mushrooms, summer squash, and zucchini, and saute for a minute more. If using tomatoes, add those in the last 30 seconds of cooking. Whatever vegetables you use, you want them to end up brightly colored and slightly tender, but not mushy. Remove from heat.
- Add the cooked pasta to the veggies. Pour in the sauce and stir to gently coat. Finish off the vegan pasta primavera with another squeeze of lemon and a few twists of black pepper. Enjoy warm.
Nutrition information uses following vegetables: 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 cup peas, 1 large zucchini, 1 cup broccoli, and 1 cup asparagus.