Dear summer, I love you so much that I have even created a lightened up version of my mac and cheese pasta primavera recipe for you! I made that original version – which I’ll post sometime soon – last week and then realized with a few simple swaps, it crams in even MORE veggies and is lighter overall without the homemade cheese sauce. So I subbed zoodles (zucchini noodles) for farfalle and white wine garlic sauce for the cheese sauce, and voila!
The point is to get all these veggies (and more!) in your belly, and to do it with a simple yummy white wine garlic sauce and a heavy sprinkle of parmesan. You in?!
So let’s talk about making this happen. Chop up your veggies whenever you have time during the day, or even the night before to save some time. For the broccoli, don’t throw the stalk away – chop it up too! It tastes great steamed, cooked, or raw right along with the fancy florets that always get all the love. If yours has a tough outer skin, just peel that away with a knife or peeler before chopping. Less food waste, more nutrients = win-win! Plus broccoli stalk has it’s own great flavor and will make things even more interesting in the final result when people are wondering about the strange new green veggie. So much fun to be had with broccoli stalks, if you want to really be the life of any party. Or you may never get invited back. Hard to say.
For the zoodles, I use a spiralizer, but if you don’t have one, many grocery stores these days will have pre-spiralized veggies available. And if not, this would still taste good with whole wheat spaghetti or fettucine noodles, so no stress about the noodles. Mainly you just need a carrier for all the good sauce and veggies. Here’s my zoodling (is this a word?) in action:
Then all that’s left to do is saute the veggies and make the sauce and you’re done! For the sauce, you may even want to double this because I wished that I had just a little bit more once it was all done, and if you like a lot of sauce, you may find the same. But I kept the original recipe proportions because not everyone will want it all sauce heavy and this is also great even with just a sprinkle of salt/pepper/parmesan.
The sauce is a little bit thin, so this is best served in bowls, where you can swirl it all around and make sure you’re not losing all the good flavors because it’s running around in pools on your plate. Just a fair warning.
Now get out there and eat some veggies!
This lightened up version of pasta primavera uses zoodles and lots of veggies, with a flavorful garlic white wine sauce.
- 1 large bunch of broccoli, florets and stalks trimmed
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, stems and seeds removed, sliced thin
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 3 zucchini squash, spiralized (See recipe notes)
- 5 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, minced, divided
- 3/4 cup broth, divided (I use Better Than Bouillon No Chicken flavor)
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup parmesan
Saute the veggies: Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet or wok pan over medium heat. Add 1 minced garlic clove and cook, stirring, for one minute. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Add the broccoli, red pepper, and peas, and cook for one minute, stirring occasionally. Add ¼ cup of the broth and continue cooking (and occasionally stirring) the vegetables for about 5 – 7 minutes, or until cooked but not mushy. Go ahead and taste them to see if they are how you like and cook them more if you want them softer. I like them to stay a little crunchy.
While the veggies cook, heat the remaining 3 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium. Add 1 clove minced garlic and saute for 1 minute, stirring. Add in the wine and simmer for about 5 – 8 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by about half. Add in 1/2 cup broth and stir. Remove from heat and add the butter, stirring until melted.
When the vegetables are done, add in the spinach and stir to combine, until just slightly wilted. Add in the zoodles and stir just to combine/warm (the zoodles are served raw here, you are just warming them slightly). Remove from the heat and add the sauce. Sprinkle generously with parmesan and serve!
If you don’t have a spiralizer, see if you can find pre-spiraled zoodles at the grocery. And if all else fails, this recipe will also work well with whole wheat spaghetti or fettucine noodles!