Summer heat can sometimes drain your appetite to the point where you only want something light to eat. Cool and refreshing, this primavera pasta salad is definitely the way to go!
Primavera means ‘spring’ so when it comes to salad that means a garden full of brightly colored fresh vegetables. Our recipe calls for a delicious combination of carrots, zucchini, squash, onions and bell peppers but you can use broccoli, asparagus, or just about any leftovers lurking in your fridge.
Smaller shaped pasta such as penne is usually found in this type of salad but we chose bow-tie pasta to shake things up a bit. The shape’s almost playful and as a bite-sized pasta, it’s perfect.
Primavera Pasta Salad Recipe
- 1 carrot, peeled, sliced thin
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced thin
- 1 medium yellow squash, sliced thin
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 lb bowtie pasta
- 1/2 cup peas, frozen, petite
- 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add the carrot, zucchini, yellow squash, onion and bell pepper to a large mixing bowl and toss them with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
- Transfer the veggies to a rimmed baking sheet, spread evenly then sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 10 minutes until the veggies are tender but not mushy—they may need more or less time depending on thickness. Once baked, remove from oven and allow them to cool.
- While the vegetables are baking and cooling, boil the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water according to the package directions. Cook the pasta but leave it a bit firm to ensure that it will hold its shape in the salad.
- Drain and run cool water over the pasta to stop it from cooking. Drain the water thoroughly then set the pasta aside.
- Combine the drained pasta and cooled vegetables into a large mixing bowl. Add frozen peas—they’ll defrost very quickly—tomatoes and the additional tbsp of olive oil. Stir to combine then sprinkle Parmesan, basil and parsley over it. Stir in the lemon juice and test for seasoning—add a little extra salt and pepper if necessary.
- Cover and refrigerate until chilled then dig in!
Rinsing cooked pasta in cool water stops the cooking process. Just make sure it’s allowed to drain thoroughly.