Quick and Simple Pasta Primavera
Taking just 20 minutes to make, from beginning to end, this is a wonderful dish for busy weeknights when you want something nutritious and appetizing but which does not require you to stand over the stove for hours. This is a smart recipe which blends pasta with frozen vegetables, some leftover chicken or ham if you have some, and your favorite pasta sauce, and the result is something that will appeal to the whole family.
This colorful pasta dish can be served by itself or with some garlic bread, salad or any other side dishes you like. It is a whole meal though because it has the pasta, vegetables, meat (if using) and sauce too, so you do not really need a side dish unless you particularly want to make one. Feel free to double the recipe and make extra if you want, because it can be reheated the following day or a couple days later, either in a pan or in the microwave. You could even serve the leftovers cold as a salad.
Feel free to make any changes to the recipe you want, such as swapping the penne pasta for another kind of pasta shape, using a creamy sauce if you want a change from tomato-based sauces, or even tossing the finished pasta in a little extra-virgin olive oil and sautéed minced garlic instead of using a jar of sauce. The kind of vegetables you use is up to you. Grab a package of mixed frozen vegetables, nice colorful ones if possible, and use that. Carrots, green beans, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, and other veggies work well.
- 3 cups uncooked penne pasta
- 8 oz jar pasta sauce (tomato or creamy)
- 1 cup chopped, cooked ham or chicken (optional)
- 12 oz mixed frozen vegetables (broccoli, corn, bell peppers, carrots etc)
- Grated parmesan, to serve
- Fresh herbs, for garnish
- Cook the pasta in a 4-quart pot, following the instructions on the package.
- Add the vegetables for the final 5 minutes of cooking time.
- Drain the pasta in a colander.
- Heat the sauce (and ham or chicken if using) in the same pot.
- Add the pasta and vegetable mixture and toss well.
- Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese and garnished with fresh herbs.
Pasta primavera is a dish consisting of pasta and vegetables. Although fresh vegetables are usually used, a package of frozen mixed veggies can also be used. Keep one in the freezer, some dried pasta shapes in the store cupboard, and you will be able to throw this dish together whenever you fancy a colorful, tasty pasta recipe. Add your favorite sauce, or just some extra-virgin olive oil and sautéed garlic if you prefer, and serve with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. This is a great dinner for the whole family. It takes just minutes to make, and the flavor is satisfying and yummy.
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