Recipe By Chef John
Published Jan 13th
Chef John’s Pasta Primavera
Prep 20m Cook 20m Additional 5m Ready In 45m
Servings 6 servings Calories 589.5

Pasta primavera is quite a straightforward recipe; spaghetti or fettuccine tossed with an array of fresh spring vegetables. When done right, this is one of the year’s great seasonal recipes. This looks, smells, and tastes like a cool, sunny spring day.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 3 cups chicken broth, divided
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound fettuccine pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2 zucchinis, diced
  • 1 cup chopped sugar snap peas
  • ½ cup shelled English peas
  • 1 bunch asparagus, stalks diced, tips left whole
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, or as needed

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Hold basil bunch by the stems and dip basil leaves in boiling water until bright green, about 2 seconds. Immediately immerse basil in ice water for several minutes until cold to stop the cooking process. Once the basil is cold, drain well. Remove basil leaves from stems and discard stems.
  2. 2 Blend basil leaves, 1 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup olive oil, and garlic together in a blender until smooth.
  3. 3 Stir fettuccine into the same pot of boiling water, bring back to a boil, and cook pasta over medium heat until cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain.
  4. 4 Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir leek and green onion in hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add jalapeno and salt; cook and stir until jalapeno is soft, about 5 minutes.
  5. 5 Increase heat to medium-high. Stir 2 cups chicken broth, zucchini, sugar snap peas, and English peas into jalapeno mixture; bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add asparagus and continue cooking until asparagus is soft, about 3 minutes more.
  6. 6 Pour 1/4 cup basil-garlic mixture into zucchini mixture and cook and stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  7. 7 Place pasta in a large bowl; pour zucchini mixture over pasta and pour remaining basil-garlic mixture over the zucchini mixture. Spread Parmesan cheese over the top. Toss mixture briefly to combine and tightly wrap bowl with aluminum foil. Let stand until pasta and vegetables soak up most of the juices and oil, about 5 minutes. Toss again.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 589.5
  • Carbohydrate 72.5 g
  • Cholesterol 8.4 mg
  • Fat 26.9 g
  • Fiber 8 g
  • Protein 18.6 g
  • Saturated Fat 4.7 g
  • Sodium 606.7 mg
  • Sugar 7.7 g


  1. What a surprise! Delicious! I admit I was hesitant looking at all these green vegetables chopped up thinking there was no way my family was going to like this. My husband was skeptical, too. Also, at first it seemed like way too many vegetables for the pasta. Then I was chopping jalapeño thinking this is - Read more ...
  2. Use less chicken stock. Perhaps 2 cups so result will be less soupy. I used 2 garlic cloves as recommended - and I love garlic - but the cloves were large and strong in flavor and so they overpowered the basil sauce - so just a tip to taste the strength of your garlic first - Read more ...
  3. This recipe lends itself well to modifications. I reduced the olive oil to 13 cup to cut calories. I found it was lacking in salt, so you may wish to add some extra. I didn't have jalapenos, so I skipped that step. I added broccoli instead of snap peas because that's what I had on - Read more ...
  4. I just made this recipe the other night and it was so delicious!! My teenagers even ate it!! Perfect dinner for a cold evening. What's even better it's full of healthy vegetables so I didn't feel guilty eating the pasta.
  5. I give it a 4 only because I make a few alterations, so cannot comment on the original recipe. Changes: I use my homemade pesto instead of the garlic-olive oil-basil ingredients; the pesto provides essentially the same flavors plus a bit of thickening from the pine nuts or walnuts. Other main change: I would first - Read more ...
  6. This recipe is FANTASTIC for so many reasons. I've been making this for about 3 years in every season because I can, because it's so healthy, and because my family and friends all love it. I added the friends part because my kids take the leftovers to school in a thermos and their friends fight - Read more ...
  7. We have been snow and cold bound in the Northeast this winter. Yesterday was the first warm day of the winter. We spend the entire day outside and then came home and made this AMAZING pasta dinner. This recipe is perfect as written. Not even one change is needed. Be sure to use fresh vegetables - Read more ...
  8. I wasn't a huge fan of this recipe. I wish there would have been more sauce to the dish. Also I thought there was way too much greens. Maybe more colors to the dish.
  9. What's not to love about a pasta dish packed with healthy vegetables? I felt great serving this to my family.