The sun is out, the birds are chirping, and the farmer’s market is officially open. In honor of spring, I made three colorful pasta dishes using seasonal produce. Also known as pasta primavera (“spring pasta” in Italian), these quick and health dinners are perfect for celebrating springtime.

#SpoonTip: Use not-so-common pasta shapes to liven it up.

Caprese Fusilli

  • Prep Time:3 minutes
  • Cook Time:15 minutes
  • Total Time:18 minutes
  • Servings:4
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound fusilli long (or spaghetti)
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1-1/4 cup small mozzarella balls
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh basil, torn
Photo by Tess Le Moing
Photo by Tess Le Moing

Step 1

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water — follow the box instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Photo by Tess Le Moing
Photo by Tess Le Moing

Step 2

In a medium skillet heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic, and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Photo by Tess Le Moing
Photo by Tess Le Moing

Step 3

Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper. As the tomatoes cook and soften, smash them with a fork. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a sauce, about 4 minutes.

Photo by Tess Le Moing
Photo by Tess Le Moing

Step 4

Add tomato sauce to pasta and toss to combine.

Photo by Tess Le Moing
Photo by Tess Le Moing

Step 5

Add basil leaves, mozzarella, and reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time until pasta is moist.

Photo by Tess Le Moing
Photo by Tess Le Moing

Rainbow Ricciolo

  • Prep Time:5-10 minutes
  • Cook Time:20 minutes
  • Total Time:25-30 minutes
  • Servings:4
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound penne (or ricciolo pasta)
  • 4 bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, green), thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Photo by Tess Le Moing
Photo by Tess Le Moing

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Place bell peppers, red onion, and garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat.

Roast until flesh is tender and skin is slightly burnt, about 15 minutes.

Photo by Tess Le Moing
Photo by Tess Le Moing

Step 2

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water — follow the box instructions.

Photo by Tess Le Moing
Photo by Tess Le Moing

Step 3

Toss the pasta with the peppers and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Photo by Tess Le Moing
Photo by Tess Le Moing

Green Monster Barilotti

  • Prep Time:5-10 minutes
  • Cook Time:15 minutes
  • Total Time:20-30 minutes
  • Servings:4
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound penne (or barilotti)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 zucchinis, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped sugar snap peas
  • 1 bunch asparagus, stalks diced, tips left whole
  • 1/3 cup pesto, store-bought or homemade
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Photo by Tess Le Moing
Photo by Tess Le Moing

Step 1

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water — follow the box instructions.

Photo by Tess Le Moing
Photo by Tess Le Moing

Step 2

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions and jalapeño until soften, 5 minutes.

Photo by Tess Le Moing
Photo by Tess Le Moing

Step 3

Increase heat to medium-high. Add zucchini and sugar snap peas, cook for 5 minutes. Add asparagus and cook until softened, about 5 more minutes.

Photo by Tess Le Moing
Photo by Tess Le Moing

Step 4

Place pasta in a large bowl and stir in veggie mixture. Top with pesto and Parmesan.

Photo by Tess Le Moing
Photo by Tess Le Moing