30 Minute Skillet Pasta Primavera
30 Minute Skillet Pasta Primavera is a healthier take on pasta primavera loaded with spring veggies and made in one skillet in 30 minutes or less! Your dream dinner is served.
I don’t have enough 30 minute meals here on the blog, and for that I’m sorry. I don’t have enough one pot meals either, so this 30 Minute Skillet Pasta Primavera gets a notch in both categories. It’s a huge win-win!
Back when my oldest son was a baby some 13 long years ago, I became a stay-at-home mom. Food Network was just a baby too, and Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals show was one of my favorites. I marveled at how quickly she cooked, and I wondered if I could ever be that fast. I have gotten faster, but the thing is, I hate doing dishes. Do you remember how many dirty pots and pans she racked up cooking that food in 30 minutes? I figured it would take a clean up crew 30 minutes just to do the dishes. #notworthit
For someone that despises doing dishes, it’s shocking I don’t cook more one pot meals. I did post a One Pot No Boil Macaroni and Cheese last year, so you’d think I would’ve ventured out into skillet pasta dishes sooner. While my mac & cheese is great, it’s mostly a side dish unless you’re serving 5 year olds (and we all know they usually want the boxed stuff anyway). This meal, however, is a grown-up, veggie packed pasta dish that is a complete meal.
It’s one stop in one pot. 🙂
The big surprise about one pot pasta meals is how creamy the sauce gets. If you think about it, it does make sense. You’ve encountered recipes that instruct you to reserve some of the pasta water to add back into the dish after you’ve drained the pasta, right? The water contains starch from the pasta, and it helps to coat the pasta and give the dish a silky, creaminess.
The sauce in this dish is just that — creamy — but it’s not from a huge amount of heavy cream that most pasta primavera dishes have. This has predominantly chicken or veggie stock, with only 3 tablespoons of heavy cream added. I’ll admit that I’m a cream-a-phobe — I don’t like dishes with a ton of heavy cream in them as they’re too rich for me. 3 tablespoons in the entire dish is just right for me. You can certainly add more cream if you’re so inclined.
The veggies are the real stars of this dish. I used plenty of leek, asparagus, mushrooms, and peas, and it just tasted like spring. I didn’t add any fresh herbs or spices this time around — just a little lemon juice and zest to brighten things up a bit, with some freshly grated parmesan to finish things off just perfectly. I’d be pretty happy eating this any day of the week, and the best part is that it can be changed up using whatever veggies you have. It would also be great adding some chicken to the mix.
Bottom line, this is a substantial dish that you can make on any busy weeknight with only one pot to clean and it cooks up in under 30 minutes! And once you’ve got this down, the options are endless. No offense, Rachel Ray, but I’ll take the one pot 30 minute meal any day. Especially since I’m the dishwasher. 🙂
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
- ½ lb. asparagus, tough stems removed, cut into 1" pieces on the bias
- 1 large leek, dark green tops removed, washed, halved, and sliced into half moons*
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed if frozen
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- 8 ounces dried pasta (I used orrechiette)
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream or half and half
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- ⅓ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- chopped basil or parsley for garnish, optional
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and pinch of salt and sauté until browned and somewhat softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, and add the asparagus, leek, peas, and garlic, and sauté until the asparagus is crisp tender, about 2-3 minutes. Place the veggies in a bowl and set aside.
- Add the stock to the pot and scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the pasta, heavy cream, and lemon juice, and stir. Bring to a boil, and cook at a high simmer until the pasta is tender, about 12 minutes depending on the type of pasta used. Stir the veggies into the pot during the last few minutes of cooking time for the pasta so the flavors can meld together. When the pasta is finished cooking, there will still be some liquid that hasn't been absorbed -- it will be absorbed as the pasta sits after cooking.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese and lemon zest, and taste. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with parsley if desired, serve and enjoy!
I separated the veggies from the dish until the end of cooking time to prevent them from being overcooked. They retain a greener color this way as well!
Your pasta should have absorbed the majority of the water and be tender as per the cooking time indicated on the box.
I didn't add much heavy cream as a little is enough for me, so simply add more if desired.
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.