This lemon pasta is one of my favorites for spring and summer dinners and backyard barbecues: asparagus, sugar snap peas and corn mixed with frilly pasta that holds the luscious lemon-parmesan vinaigrette, with lots of fresh basil and cracked pepper sprinkled on top. Scrumptious!
There are those times of year when the vegetables in the store call out to me and dictate what I cook. When I see beautiful ears of fresh corn or gorgeous green asparagus, they practically jump into my cart. Then I start imagining a pasta dish with lots of lemon and basil and fresh grated parmigiana Reggiano....
Here's what this lemony pasta primavera is about: the sweetness and crunch of the crisp-tender vegetables mixed with frilly pasta in a luscious lemony sauce. It's like a beautiful sunny day in a bowl!
This lemony pasta makes a great vegetarian main course. Serve it with a tomato salad, tricolore salad, or an arugula salad with cherry tomatoes, for color and flavor contrast. It also works well as a side dish with anything grilled. I've made it twice in the past week - once with grilled salmon steaks and again yesterday - for Father's Day - with pulled pork sandwiches and spicy grilled chicken.
If you're having a crowd, you can easily double the recipe. It's delicious served hot or at room temp as a pasta salad. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
Here's the recipe for Lemony Pasta with Summer Vegetables. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a comment and a rating. I'd love to know what you think.Print
Lemon Pasta with Summer Vegetables
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
Frilly pasta with fresh summer vegetables in a luscious lemony sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- 1 pound pasta - any shape you like. I like the frilly shapes for this dish, such as Campanelli.
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 3 big handfuls of sugar snap peas (about 3 cups) stringed
- 4-5 ears of fresh corn, shucked (or substitute 3 cups frozen corn, thawed)
- ½ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 juicy lemons)
- ⅔ cup fresh grated good quality parmigiana cheese, such as Parmigiana Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 10-12 large basil leaves, stacked and thinly sliced
- Blanch the Vegetables: Set up a large bowl of ice water in your sink. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. (you can use the same water for all the vegetables but cook the corn last to avoid strings getting tangled in the other veggies) Put the asparagus into the boiling water and set the timer for 2 - 3 minutes, depending on how thick they are. Transfer them to the ice water to stop the cooking process immediately and preserve their bright green color. Slice them into bite-sized pieces. Put them into a large bowl and set aside. Add snap peas to the boiling water. Set the timer for 2 minutes. Scoop them out and plunge them into the ice bath, using a slotted spoon or mesh skimmer. Slice off the tough little root at the end of each pea pod and slice peas diagonally into thirds. Add them to the bowl with the asparagus. Add corn to the boiling water and set the timer for 3 minutes. Plunge corn into ice water to cool and then cut the kernels off the cob and add to the bowl. (if using frozen corn, no need to cook it) Vegetables can be blanched ahead of time and kept in an airtight container in the fridge for a few hours - bring to room temp before continuing.
- Cook the Pasta: Cook pasta in salted water (1 tablespoon), according to the package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
- Make the Sauce: While the pasta is cooking, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Put pasta into the large bowl with the vegetables. Pour the sauce mixture on top and toss to coat. Add up to a cup of the cooking water, tossing, until you get your desired consistency. The sauce shouldn't be liquidy, it should just coat the pasta. Season pasta with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Toss with basil just before serving. Serve with extra parmigiana cheese on the side.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Category: Main Dish or Side Dish
- Method: boil
- Cuisine: Out of this World
Keywords: pasta salad with vegetables, lemon pasta with vegetables
Hi Lisa! Thank you for another beautiful and delicious recipe!!! Question: how far in advance can one prep the veggies?
Hi Jen! Good Question!! You can chop and combine the olives, capers, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper up to 4 hours ahead. Keep the mixture covered, in the fridge, and bring to room temp before using. The tomatoes and basil are better if they're sliced at the last minute. I hope that helps!
I've made it as written and also with feta instead of parm because I had to use some up. Very good! I also added the lemon zest from the lemons cuz "waste not want not" and it upped the lemon factor in a lovely way.
Hi Rebecca, I love the idea of lemon zest and feta in this dish. I'm glad you enjoyed and thanks so much for reporting back!
A taste of summer!! Fantastic
Oh my gosh, the combination of the fresh garden veggies with lemon and pasta is perfect! Looks like the perfect summertime meal!
this was so perfect. loved every bit of it. and i loved the sequence of briefly blanching each vegetable with the same water. what a delight! was even thinking a bit of feta would be nice in it.
I agree about the feta!
I've made it as written and also with instead of parm because I had to use some up. Very good! I also added the lemon zest from the lemons cuz "waste not want not" and it upped the lemon factor in a lovely way.
Carol at Wild Goose Tea
Gosh this is a gorgeous looking dish. It is more of an edible center piece for your table. I am already envisioning the place mats and plates to go with it. Not only that it is a celebration of what we are so lucky to have fresh in our markets now.
Looks and sounds so delicious! Can't wait to try it.
Sounds perfect for summer parties. How far in advance can you add the sauce?
If you're serving it as a pasta salad I would still recommend cooking the pasta and tossing everything together with the sauce no more than two or three hours before serving, otherwise the lemon juice will fade the colors of the green vegetables and it won't look as vibrant.