One Recipe, Two Meals: Pasta with Butter and Peas for the Kids, and a Veggie-Packed Primavera for You

We're having our pasta and eating it too! Here's one simple version for your kiddos, and one giant, glorious version for you.
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If you're not a fan of pasta, there may be something wrong with you. Just kidding. You're still a good person.

But really, how could you not like pasta? You know, don't even tell me if you don't. I don't think my heart could take it. I feel like we're in a good place in our relationship, and I can't rightly handle any deal breakers. I have to wash my hair today; that's already too much for me.

Anyway, what we have here is a ridiculous pasta primavera, but super-stripped down on the front end for your babes. I included some peas in the kid-friendly recipe. Ya know, color! And health or whatever.

The mature version is loaded with veggies, a bit of dry white wine, a little bit and a lot of butter, tons of good Parmesan and a heavy hand of fresh herbs. You may cry. Just keeping adding cheese at the end and I'm sure you will.

As a matter of fact, I'm tearing up right now.

I may need a moment. Or more pasta?

Pasta Primavera, Two Ways


One 14.5-ounce box rotini

4 tablespoons butter, divided

3/4 cup chicken stock, divided

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, or more

1 cup frozen peas, thawed and divided

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 cups broccoli florets

1 medium bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 cups cherry tomatoes

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Freshly chopped parsley for garnish

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rotini and cook until al dente, according to the box directions. Save a cup of the pasta water and drain the rest.

At this point, scoop out two cups of the cooked pasta and place it back in the pot. Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1/4 cup chicken stock. If needed, add a little bit of the reserved pasta water to create a thin sauce. Grate 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan into the dish and stir to combine.

Serve to your kids as is, or with 1/4 cup warmed peas, with extra grated Parmesan on top.

Place the remaining cooked pasta back in the pot.

In the meantime, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli florets and asparagus pieces to the pan. Add 1/4 cup water and cover to steam, about 3 minutes.

To the pan, add the garlic, 1/4 cup white wine, remaining 1/3 cup chicken stock, 2 tablespoons butter, the cherry tomatoes and the fresh thyme leaves. Season with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Let saute for a few more minutes until the colors pop. Finally, add the peas and toss. Off the heat, add the last tablespoon of butter and another 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan. If needed, stir in a little of the reserved pasta water to create a sauce. Toss to combine.

Serve the adult-friendly pasta primavera with fresh parsley and more freshly grated Parmesan cheese — and that extra white wine, for Pete's sake!

Follow Bev on her blog, Bev Cooks, if you think you can even handle more.

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