Lightened Up Pasta Primavera

When we crossed into 2013 many of us announced that there may have been a bit of overindulging of rich and sugary foods over the holidays. I may or may not have been one of them.
I had grand plans to move more, and not fall to temptation. My bad time is late at night when I just need a bit of something sweet. It’s Iike I held out all day until I could hold out no longer. This is the reason why I try not to keep sweets in the house. Moments of weakness.
Now I do think everyone deserves a bit of indulgence now and then. But if you are not cutting back your calories or exercising regularly these little indulgences add up.
The entire month of January I had projects that required me to do a lot of recipe experimentation, specifically baking. I made scones, apple fritters, infused syrups and scores of cookies. Not one to want to see food go to waste I took some of the excess to work but the rest sat in my kitchen and became my nine o’clock snack.
In the blink of an eye were are closing in on March and I’m finally getting around to making a point of counting calories and watching my fat and empty food and drink intake. I did so well for years but after falling off of the wagon I’ve found it’s hard to get back on.
Needing a bit of culinary inspiration I turned to a stack of magazines that my mother had recently deposited at my house.   I flipped through several before getting to the most recent copy of Everyday Food by Martha Stewart.
I quickly found a recipe that included several things that I crave daily. Veggies and pasta. I made the recipe as shown and felt like it needed something more. I boosted the amount of asparagus and sweet pies and hit the right balance.
This quick and easy recipe makes me think of Spring. It would be great with a bit of flaked salmon, tuna or chicken on top. Pasta primavera sometimes uses cream but this lighter version gets a boost from dry white wine and a bit of the starchy pasta water.
I have also made this using brocolini instead of peas but feel free to use what you like. This comes together fast so it’s perfect for a busy weeknight and without even realizing it you treated yourself to a healthy dinner.
Lightened Up Pasta Primavera


  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • ¼ C pasta water
  • 5 TB butter
  • 1 lb trimmed asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
  • ⅓ C dry white wine
  • 1½ C frozen peas, thawed
  • ½ C mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ⅓ C grated Parmesan for garnish
  1. Cook penne to al dente and drain reserving ¼ C of pasta water.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add the asparagus and cook until crisp tender, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the wine and cook until reduced, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the peas, mint and thyme.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Gently toss with the cooked penne and pasta water.
  8. Dust with Parmesan before serving.
From Everyday Food
Martha Stewart Publications

Hear more about this lightened up recipe with Sean Copeland on B105.7 Soft Rock Indianapolis Monday March 4 at 7:15 am

I shared this recipe over on Gooseberry Patch too!


  1. says

    Oh my heavens, YUM! I think adding more asparagus is a good thing (as Martha would say) and I sooooo hear ya on the late night sweet cravings. Having this for dinner would make me feel less deprived saying NO at 9 p.m. :) Thanks, Heather!

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