I didn't really begin cooking until I got married over a year ago. It had always overwhelmed me. I didn't know the terminology, techniques or tricks. Any recipe longer than 5 or 6 ingredients made me nervous to attempt. Multitasking to prepare a main dish AND several sides with dessert sounded too stressful.  

When I started cooking regularly, I of course gained knowledge and grew more comfortable. However, I seemed to struggle with finding "my recipes." You know...the dishes that you could prep blindfolded. The ones you always make and you become known for. The ones people expect you to bring to the potluck. Those recipes. Until recently, I didn't have anything like that in my repertoire. 

Until a friend introduced me to this recipe. 

P  A  S  T  A     P  R  I  M  A  V  E  R  A


  • 1 lb bow tie pasta

  • 1 large jar marinara sauce

  • 1 jar pesto

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 container sliced mushrooms

  • 2 zucchini (cut into chunks)

  • 2 yellow squash (cut into chunks)

  • 1/2 purple onion (sliced)

  • 1 yellow bell pepper (cut into strips)

  • 1 red bell pepper (cut into strips)

  • 1 can quartered artichokes (drained)

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes

  • Olive oil

  • Dried oregano

  • Dried basil

  • Salt & pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425º.

  2. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray them with Pam.

  3. Toss all veggies in about 1/4 cup of olive oil.

  4. Evenly arrange the vegetables on the baking sheets and sprinkle with salt, pepper and dried herbs, to taste.

  5. Bake in oven for about 20-25 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions and warm your marinara sauce over the stove. Drain pasta.

  7. Using a large bowl containing about 1/2 cup of pesto, toss the pasta with all of the veggies until combined.

  8. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

  9. Serve by dipping a ladle of warm marinara into an individual bowl and spoon in the pasta primavera mixture. If you like, you can add red pepper flakes and top with more Parmesan.

Serves: 6

Now, you may be saying, "This is way more than 5-6 ingredients," or "The prep takes too much time." And my first response would's worth it. Trust me. After my first bite, I swore that I would continue to make this for years to come.

So, what is it that I love so much about this recipe? It's customizability! Seriously.

This was the recipe I was given and I made it exactly as you see above the first time. I've made it several times since then, and have changed it up each time. That is the beauty of it! 

Want protein? Add chicken!
Don't prefer bow tie pasta? Use penne or angel hair!
Don't like artichokes or mushrooms? Leave them out!
Want green and orange bell pepper? Add them to the mix!
Not a fan of marinara sauce? Try Alfredo!

The possibilities are endless. And, it really is easy to make!

Try it out and give me your feedback! I am certain that you'll fall in love just as I did.