Healthy Recipe: Italian Summer Pasta Primavera

Italian Pasta PrimaveraWhile pasta primavera traditionally celebrates the fresh produce of springtime in Italy, this lightened up version highlights the beautiful produce of late summer. By cutting the pasta with a small amount of zucchini noodles, this recipe is lightened up and healthier, but still delicious and satisfying. Bright tomatoes bring a healthy does of lycopene, and fresh basil provides powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Flavorful extra virgin olive oil, a staple in traditional Italian cooking, lends healthy unsaturated fat to this dish, and allows your body to absorb all the health benefits of this summery dish.

Serves: 4-6
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pappardelle pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 zucchini, spiralized, or thinly sliced into pasta like strips
  • 2 ears corn, kernels stripped
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh peas
  • 3 tablespoons ground parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil, to serve

Directions:

  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook your pasta per package instructions. Before you drain it, set aside ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.
  2. While your pasta cooks, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Sauté the shallots and garlic for 3-4 minutes, until slightly tender. Add the zucchini, corn, and tomatoes, and a pinch of salt, and cook for 6-8 minutes, until everything is just tender and the tomatoes are bursting. Add the zucchini noodles, and cook for 1-2 minutes until just starting to soften.
  3. Add the cooked pasta and peas to the pan, and toss everything well to combine. Add the Parmesan cheese, and a splash of the pasta cooking water, to loosen everything up and form a light sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, and fresh basil.