The other day I got my taste up for a pasta primavera. I had one in mind that I ate at a restaurant years ago, but when I went looking for recipes online, I decided I'd better try to find something simple, family-friendly, and with ingredients I could easily have on hand. What I found was this recipe for "Spaghetti Primavera with Basil" at realsimple.com.
You can click on the link if interested in proportions and cooking directions, but it basically calls for sauteing a number of green vegetables in olive oil and garlic and tossing them with spaghetti and a bit of salt and pepper. The recipe called for broccoli florets, bell pepper, zucchini, and fresh basil. Alas, I had no fresh basil -- we didn't get our windowsill pot started in the spring as we usually do, and our garden basil is still a recently planted seedling from the farmer's market. I substituted with dry basil (because I love the flavor of basil) but there is no doubt in my mind this recipe would be ten times better with fresh. I make a zucchini/fresh basil pesto in the summer that our whole family loves.
I cook with green bell peppers often, but I wasn't sure they were the very best complement for this dish. The zucchini and broccoli might go better with asparagus, green beans, or sugar snap peas (a few of the "optional" additions listed at the bottom, which I didn't see when I first found the recipe).
I also was out of spaghetti -- believe it or not! -- and had to substitute angel hair, which always seems to get a bit clumpy/sticky. Spaghetti would definitely be a better choice, or perhaps rotini, which would soak up the olive oil/garlic nicely in all its curly pasta crevices.
What I did like was the lovely green color that permeated the meal. The bright greens of the veggies looked lovely stirred into the pasta and I served it on the table in a clear glass bowl.
It didn't satisfy my craving for the pasta primavera I remembered (which I think had a cream based sauce) but it was a nice, light summer dish -- one I wouldn't mind tweaking and trying again. My family seemed to enjoy it, and my nine year old ate it well.