Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pasta Primavera: A Skinny #SundaySupper Dish

Pasta Primavera

For this week's #SundaySupper, the theme is light and healthy dishes (i.e. skinny) and it couldn't have come at a better time. After gorging on Super Bowl snacks and splurging on Valentine's Day sweets, it's time to get back to a healthy diet.

I must thank Renee of Magnolia Days for this dish. I planned on participating in last week's Valentine's Day event, but the maintenance staff at my apartment is working with my kitchen. I won't bore you with the details, but it's about 90% functional and wasn't sure I would be able to complete the dish on time.

As I was explaining to Renee that I would have to renege on my commitment for Valentine's Day, I promised I would look at future Sundays. She noted this week's theme but I was reluctant because healthy dishes, while I'm mindful, aren't a focus of this publication. (Want examples? Let's see, there's my homemade ricotta, deep frying my own potato chips, and baby back ribs just to name a few. That doesn't even cover the numerous pasta dishes I've published in the last year.) Well, Rene practically dared me to participate. After thinking about it, it occurred to me that making an indulgent dish healthier could be a separate challenge.

The Challenge

I know I publish a lot of pasta here, but have never set out with a goal of cutting calories, carbohydrates, and/or fat. For this reason, I thought this would be a great place to start.

The Source

Many pasta primavera dishes I reviewed used short pasta so I used a recipe I found on because it's different in that respect.


1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth chicken stock
16 sun-dried tomato halves (not packed in oil)
1 pound linguine
5 tablespoons olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium zucchini, chopped
12 broccoli rabe florets
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


1. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, bring broth to simmer in small saucepan, then remove from heat. Add tomatoes and let stand until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain, but reserve broth. Slice tomatoes thinly.

2. Add linguine to the large pot of salted water for a minute or two less than the box instructions dictate. While the pasta boils, heat oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and sauté until golden, about 1 minute. Add reserved broth, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli rabe florets and basil. Season with salt and pepper, then simmer until vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat.

3. Drain linguine and add to the vegetables, then toss to combine. Transfer to warmed bowls and garnish with the parmesan.


I was a little surprised the dish was so flavorful, considering the lack of a sauce. Altogether, this was not only a lighter meal, but one that came together rather quickly.

On a side note, you might remember Carolina when I prepared a guest post for her this past fall. She recently wrote on her blog how Italians stay healthy, given that many of their dishes are heavy and have high in calories. If I could summarize her sentiments, she notes that portions are smaller and use natural ingredients.

Other Sunday Supper Participants

Please check out this week's other Sunday Supper participants:

Sizzling Skinny Appetizers & Soups
Healthy Skinny Mains & Sides
Guilt Free Skinny Desserts & Snacks
Wine Pairing Recommendations for Skinny Sunday Supper by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog


  1. I adore pasta primavera and this skinny version looks fantastic!! Love it!
    Daily Dish Recipes

  2. Aww...thank you so much for the mention. I'm glad I was able to get you to join in this event. Great job on the primavera too!

  3. So glad that you were able to participate this week. The dish looks very good and I like your take on the recipe.

  4. Yum! I love pasta dishes, and all of the vegetables added sound amazing

  5. I absolutely love Pasta Primavera, and yours looks scrumptious!


  6. Yum! I love pasta and I love the use of broccoli rabe! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Glad you were able to participate this week because your recipe looks really delicious! There is an ingredient I'm unfamiliar with however. What is Basti (I hope I'm spelling that right)? I Love learning about new ingredients!!!

    1. Hi Renee,

      Thanks for stopping by. It's basil. I think it might be the font. You're not the only one who's had trouble with it. My apologies.



  8. This looks lovely & hearty. Love the addition of all the veggies in it !! Thanks for posting such a nice recipe. So glad you could join us !!

  9. I love anything with pasta and the addition of all these vegetables sounds great!

  10. We are so conditioned to serve pasta with heavy sauces, but Italians don't do this. They serve pasta with or without sauces and typically with just enough sauce to lightly coat the pasta noodles. Anyway, great recipe and enjoy pasta with or without sauce.

  11. Great recipe DB. I think pasta with fresh ingredients and less sauce are to die for. The Italians know their stuff. Glad you were able to participate.

  12. What a great recipe! Thanks for sharing (I also had a problem reading the font on my computer)

  13. Love this recipe...especially adding sun-dried tomatoes! Pinning!

  14. This dish looks perfect for my weeknights! I love the addition of all these beautiful veggies in the sauce! Yumm...

  15. I'm so glad you rose to the challenge and joined us this week with this delicious dish. I love pasta too (I'm a total carboholic) and if it can be lightened, then even better. This is full of veggies and flavour so it'd be a winner at my house.

  16. I love this recipe, and it is just a bonus that it is light. I prefer using my own stock in my cooking, not only does it taste better but I can make sure I know how much sodium my daughter is having.

  17. You might not be used to cooking healthy recipes but I feel you did a good job here! And then too your kitchen isn't ready yet, so respect! =)

  18. I'm glad Renee talked you into participating this week! Love this pasta! Quick, light and healthy! Smaller portions and natural ingredients are the way to go! Love it!

  19. Pasta primavera loaded with veggies is my go to meal! I know alot of people can't get over the texture of whole wheat pasta but I love it. Eat more veggies and less pasta. Looks delicous!

  20. Pasta primavera is such a great dish! Your version looks fanatic! ~ Bea @ Galactosemia in PDX


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