In the Cucina with La Gazzetta - Pasta Primavera: The Springtime Pasta

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dalla cucina di Roslyn Torella

It will soon be springtime and I cannot think of a recipe that screams “spring” more than the 1970s dish Pasta Primavera. Pasta Primavera is a North American invention. I say North American because there are differing stories as to its origin, some claim it was invented in Nova Scotia, Canada while others claim it was invented in NYC in the late 1970s. We do know that the recipe first appeared in the New York Times in 1977. That first published recipe came from the NYC restaurant, Le Cirque, and with the press coverage, it became the “most talked about dish in Manhattan.” 

The recipe we share in this column is much simpler than the original, but still very tasty. Pasta Primavera is a delightful combination of springtime vegetables and a creamy parmesan sauce. The best thing about Pasta Primavera is that you can customize it by using vegetables you have on hand or those that are your favorites. You can also add shrimp or chicken to it! So, pour yourself a nice glass of wine, turn on the Sinatra, I am thinking “New York, New York” will set the mood, and make a batch for dinner! Buon appetito!



1 lb. Penne pasta 

1 T. Olive oil

1 clove Garlic, minced

An assortment of your favorite fresh veggies, chopped (snap peas, broccolini, bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, onion, asparagus, peas, spinach, cherry tomatoes)


For the Sauce:

1 T. Butter

2/3 C. Low-sodium chicken broth

½ C. Heavy whipping cream (or Half and Half)

½ C. Freshly grated parmesan cheese, or to taste

Salt, to taste 

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Fresh basil leaves, chopped (for garnish)



Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Set aside. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add veggies, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 2-4 minutes, until slightly tender. Transfer to a plate. Add butter to pan. Add chicken broth and cream and bring to a simmer. Stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the sauce seems too thick, add more chicken broth, cream or water. Add cooked pasta and veggies to the pan and toss to combine. Top with fresh basil, if desired.