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Lemony Pasta Primavera

PREP TIME 5 mins | READY IN 15 mins | SERVES 4 - 5

One-pot pasta took the world by storm a few years ago, and with good reason. When the pasta and sauce are cooked together in one pan (yes, the pasta goes in uncooked!), the resulting dish isn’t just fast and easy—it’s also incredibly creamy and luxurious. As the starch cooks out of the pasta, it mixes with the water (and other yummy ingredients) to create a sauce that clings to every strand. You’re going to wonder where this method has been all your life (I know I did!).

There are three important secrets to this recipe: First, you need a pasta shape that cooks in less than six minutes. Just check the package directions. Second, you need to cook this in a wide but shallow pan that can accommodate the pasta without it hanging out over the side.

I use a three-inch-deep frying pan. Finally, use fat spears of asparagus. They’re tastier, and they also cook in the right amount of time. Really thin asparagus will get too mushy. If you can’t find any, just omit the asparagus and double the peas instead.

This recipe is from Dinner, Uncomplicated: Fixing a Delicious Meal Every Night of the Week.

Lemony Pasta Primavera


  • 450-g package spaghettini

  • 5 cups water

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3⁄4 teaspoon salt

  • 16 asparagus spears, peeled if very woody

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 1 lemon

  • Grated Parmesan


  1. Place the spaghettini in a large, wide frying pan or pot. The pasta should be able to lie flat, but it doesn’t have to be in a single layer. Add the water, garlic, olive oil and salt. Turn the heat to high and stir the ingredients a bit (it will be difficult at this stage, since the pasta is uncooked).

  2. Chop the tips off the asparagus spears and reserve. Chop the stalks into 1⁄2-inch pieces. Once the pan is boiling, cook about 2 minutes, stirring often, then stir in the asparagus pieces. Cook about 3 minutes, or until they are bright green. Add the tips and the peas and cook another 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pasta is just tender and the sauce clings to the strands. The whole process will take about 13 minutes. Remove from heat.

  3. Zest the lemon over the pasta, then juice the lemon and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the juice. Stir well and serve immediately with Parmesan.

Click below for a printable version of this recipe.

lemony pasta primavera
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