Use the freshest veggies of the season in this One Pot Summertime Primavera to get tons of summery flavor.
Vegetarian, Quick & Easy
Ready in 15 minutes
Confession time: sometimes I struggle to figure out how to use up all the produce coming off in my garden. I’ve gotten a lot better at it, but I think my decades of everything-always-in-season supermarket shopping has got me conditioned to really struggle to plan meals seasonally.
It’s easy when the first asparagus of the season is cut, and it takes all my willpower to wait long enough to get it up the house before eating it. Or when the first tomato comes off the vine, and I bite into it like an apple right in the middle of the garden. But after the novelty of a new harvest wears off? After I’ve been swimming in asparagus or tomatoes or kale or whatever for a few weeks? I tend to trend back to my old not-so-seasonal menu planning habits.
Or, at least I have in years past, this year, I’m really working on it! Part of the responsibility of working this much land is not being wasteful, and between our frequent produce donations, my obsessive preserving, and my newfound dedication to seasonal cooking, we’re kinda rocking it this year. There has been very little food out of the garden that hasn’t made it into someone’s belly (or will in the future).
One of the keys to cooking with what’s on hand, for me at least, is having a handful of adaptable recipes that I can use as a base and throw in whatever is coming off in the garden at that moment in. And this one pot summertime primavera is one of my favorites. We’ve been eating it about once a week since the garden started producing. We started off using asparagus spears, fresh garden peas, and green onions. Then we put in spinach, carrots, and broccoli. Now, we’re transitioning to more summer crops (although, part of the joy of preserving, is that I can now pull out some spinach or broccoli or peas or asparagus from the freezer if I want and toss it in).
In typical me fashion, my departure from standard Springtime veggies is a bastardization of this pretty classic Italian-American dish. Primavera means Spring, so if you want to stay true to this dish’s roots, I’d recommend sticking with the crisp, fresh veggies of Spring. But if your goal is to use up the 3000 cherry tomatoes your garden is producing right this second? I won’t tell Italy, if you won’t. And yes, the irony of the fact that I called this dish “One Pot Summertime Primavera” isn’t lost on me.
And, hey, here’s me burying the lead—this dish is done in 15 minutes. BOOM. You throw everything in a pot, and cook it in less time than it would take to drive to the fast food joint, order, and get home. It doesn’t get more fast food than this.
The beauty of one pot meals is that the pasta and veggies all cook together to make a quick, flavorful broth—so everything has this beautifully layered taste that seems like it would take hours to achieve. And then, like all good things in life, the dish is finished off with some heavy cream and fresh parmesan to add velvety richness. Yum.
This dinner is delightfully vegetarian, but if you really need to add some meat, a few pieces of grilled chicken breast (especially if you marinate it in some sort of easy Italian dressing—like this one) would be rocking on top. Shrimp sautéed in a little garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes would also be incredible. Enjoy!
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 12 ounces fettuccine
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 small zucchini, quartered and sliced
- 1 small yellow squash, quartered and sliced
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup corn kernels
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- Combine the broth, fettuccine, onion, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, tomatoes, corn, bell pepper, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Bring to a boil, and once boiling, using tongs to constantly stir the mixture. As the pasta softens, it'll get easier to maneuver.
- Cook until the pasta is tender, about seven minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the cream, lemon juice and zest, parsley, and parmesan cheese. Let pasta rest for five minutes to thicken.
- Taste for seasoning (if you used homemade or low-sodium broth, you'll probably want to add more salt), and then serve. Top with more parmesan and fresh cracked black pepper before serving.