Pasta Primavera

Cooking for Kids

The kids I care for love this pasta primavera recipe. I don’t even have to hide the vegetables in the dish – the kids eat them. This is my no frills recipe with no cream or heavy seasonings, just the flavors of olive oil and lemon. Be sure to throw in any left over vegetables you have in the fridge. But, if there is a vegetable the kids you care for despise just don’t add I to the dish. If there are any vegetables we didn’t include that your charges love, be sure to add them to the recipe. As always, let the kids help make the recipe if possible. They can at least help you gather the ingredients and measure the oil and cheese when making this healthy lunch or dinner.

You Will Need:

1 (12 ounce) package of penne or rotini pasta (whole wheat pasta is more healthy)
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1/2 red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks
1/2 pint grape tomatoes
1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
any left over veggies you may have (we added left over peas)
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese and/or Parmesan cheese

What to Do:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne pasta and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Then, drain.

3. While the pasta is cooking, toss squash, zucchini, carrot, red bell pepper, tomatoes, and green beans together in a bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and Italian seasoning. Arrange vegetables on the lined baking sheet. Roast vegetables in preheated oven until tender, about 15 minutes.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil and butter in a large skillet. Cook onion and garlic in hot oil until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Mix cooked pasta, lemon zest, and basil into the onion mixture. Gently toss and cook until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with roasted vegetables and sprinkle with Romano and/or Parmesan cheese.

Photo by Stephanie Felzenberg
Recipe adapted from

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