How to make pasta primavera sauce


Pasta primavera sauce, or ‘Springtime’ sauce in English, is a scrummy and nutritious Italian veggie covering. Not only that, but it’s seriously flexible to boot.

primavera sauce

Look online or in Italian recipe books and you’ll find that primavera sauce is often a buttery and creamy covering. However the version my mamma-in-law Marisa taught me is more of a slippery oily version (don’t worry, it’s just as tasty though!).

I suggest you take this recipe’s ingredient list as a starting point, as you can really add whatever vegetables you like. Some American primavera recipes include meat for instance, adding a bit of bird for example to create chicken primavera say.

On the pasta front, there are no strict rules there either. Pour this sauce over short or long pasta shapes - it’s entirely up to you.

One quick tip before we start: there is a bunch of preparatory veggie chopping involved with this dish, so if you can enlist someone’s help it will speed things up no end.

Enough chatter ten, let’s make primavera sauce!

Serves 4


- 2 small thin eggplants/aubergines

- 2 medium-sized capsicums/peppers (1 orange & 1 red)

pasta primavera veggies- 2 small thin zucchini/courgettes

- 2 cloves of garlic

- 2 fresh medium tomatoes

- Extra virgin olive oil

- Frying/sunflower oil

- Tomato paste/purée

- Salt


- 2 large frying pans with lids

- Sieve/colander

- Absorbent kitchen roll/paper

STEP 1 - First we prepare all those lovely veggies.

- Tomatoes: stand these in a bowl/pan of boiling water. This will loosen their skins, which we will peel later.

- Zucchini/courgette and eggplants/aubergines: chop off ends and slice long ways into quarters.

Then cut out and discard the central seeded sections. Chop the remaining flesh into very small cubes.

pasta primavera sauce

Tip: place the eggplant cubes directly into a bowl of lightly salted water as you chop - this avoids the flesh turning brown in the air.

- Capsicums/Peppers: remove stalks and cut the rest in half. Scoop away any seeds and cube the rest of the flesh.

- Garlic cloves: remove the ends and peel the cloves.

- Finally, carefully drain the soaked tomatoes, then peel with fingers and quarter.

STEP 2 - Take one frying pan and lightly cover all its base with frying/sunflower oil (not olive oil).

easy primavera sauce

- Heat this oil through on medium heat hob until hob (but not smoking or spitting), and add one garlic clove.

- Fry clove until it turns golden (approx. 4-5 mins).

- Now add all the chopped peppers and zucchini, plus teaspoon of salt.

- Cover the pan and fry the lot, stirring often, until the pepper turns soft (approx. 25 minutes).

STEP 3 - If you are a true kitchen beginner, multitasking may not be for you so fry the peppers and then attack this step. Otherwise, while the peppers fry…

- Similarly cover the base of your second frying pan with frying oil and warm this up.

- Fry the second clove until golden then throw in all the eggplant, squeezing out excess water from the cubes before you drop them into the pan.

primavera sauce veggies

STEP 4 - Cover this eggplant pan and fry eggplant until it turns very soft (approx. 15 mins).

- When soft, use large spoon to remove the eggplant cubes and place these on a plate of kitchen paper.

STEP 5 - Drain most of the remaining oil, then add the tomato quarters and a half teaspoon of salt.

- Cover for 4-5 mins to soften toms, then remove lid and break toms into bits using a wooden spoon.

- Add a teaspoon of tomato paste and fry toms on a low-medium heat without lid until they lose their sourness (this usually takes around 5 minutes or so).

STEP 6 - Gently mix the eggplant into your pan of cooked pepper and finally, discard both garlic cloves.

Done - bravo, you made primavera sauce!

To serve:cook up your pasta in well-salted water as per its packet’s timings (approx. 100g/3.5oz of dried pasta per person), then drain.

- Reheat the sauce a little then either mix this through with your pasta or serve directly on top of each pasta serving (see below).

Speed tip for next time: chop your veggies directly into the frying pan to save time, starting with the capsicum peppers as these are hard and take longer than the rest to soften.

You could also consider throwing in a few pitted black olives (roughly chopped) for a bit more 'Whumph!'.

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