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Pesto Pasta Primavera
with squash, red pepper
& olives


Pesto Pasta Primavera Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6

In celebration of the arrival of Spring, we are featuring a bright, flavorful Pesto Pasta Primavera. 'Primavera' is Italian for Spring, and is used to describe a dish based on fresh, Spring vegetables. This pasta showcases both a fresh basil pesto as well as crookneck yellow squash, red bell pepper and black olives - all ingredients that should soon be readily available in your garden or local farmer's market.

Continuing the Italian theme, we've selected two Pinot Grigios for our wine pairing. While some Pinot Grigios are almost insipid in their lack of taste and charm, a well-crafted version can offer tremendous flavor. Traditionally light and crisp, the  acidity in Pinot stands up well to the herbal flavor and heavy garlic in the sauce. Since Pinot Grigio offers such a wonderful value we're featuring two 'Steals' with this recipe - the first a Pinot pioneer in Napa, and the second from Delle Venezie, a more conventional home for Pinot.

Wine Pairing

"Steal #1"
2011 Luna Pinot Grigio,
Napa County

Less austere than some Italian selections with bright, citrusy fruit that verges on tropical. ($12)
Buy at Wine.com

"Steal #2"
2011 Fontana Candida Pinot Grigio, Delle Venezie

Easy-drinking and straightforward, this Pinot is light, fresh and tasty with food. ($9)

Pesto Pasta Primavera Ingredients:

1 lb spaghetti
2 crookneck yellow squash
1 large red bell pepper
1 cup black olives
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup olive oil (for pesto)
2 tbsp olive oil (for pasta)
1 shallot
1 clove garlic
1 lemon

Pesto Pasta Primavera Cooking Instructions:

1.) To make pesto, add basil leaves, pine nuts, parmesan, juice from lemon and 1/2 cup olive oil with 2 tbsp salt and fresh ground black pepper to a blender or food processor. Mix until consistency becomes smooth. Reserve.

2.) Dice squash, red pepper and olives. Finely mince shallot and garlic.

3.) In a large pot, heat 1 quart of salted water over high heat until at a rapid boil. Add spaghetti, stirring regularly.

4.) Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook for 2 minutes.

5.) Add squash, pepper and olives to skillet and cook for another 5 minutes.

6.) When spaghetti is cooked to al dente, strain pasta off water, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Add reserved pasta water and pesto to skillet with vegetables, to thin the pesto and stir.

7.) Add spaghetti to skillet and turn to coat thoroughly with sauce. Garnish with fresh basil and extra parmesan and serve!

Next Recipe:
 Potato Leek Soup with Cheddar Cheese



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