One Pot Shrimp Pasta Primavera
Penne with a buttery lemon, cream, Parmesan sauce, and plenty of fresh vegetables - mushrooms, peas, asparagus, tomatoes, garlic, basil and shrimp. This delicious Shrimp Pasta Primavera is IDEAL for busy weeknights! It’s ready in 30 minutes and uses just one pot for everything making cleanup a breeze.
What is pasta primavera?
Primavera means springtime in Italian so Pasta Primavera really is a pasta loaded with all of spring’s tasty fresh veggies. It’s believed to be created in New York City in the late 1970s. It’s loaded with vegetables, doused in butter, a touch of cream and lots of parmesan cheese. I have sliced and diced carrots, bell peppers, peas, spring onions, baby broccolini, asparagus, snow peas etc…into my primavera. It’s so versatile and you can literally use whatever veggies are your favourite or that you might have on hand. For this one I just had to include local Ontario mushrooms which are in season right now and are so delicious in a creamy pasta.
How to make pasta primavera?
The key to this one-pot dish is cooking the shrimp, vegetables, and pasta in stages. When combined, all of the ingredients will be perfectly al dente and coated in a tasty sauce that is slightly thickened by the starch in the pasta. Add more spring flavour by stirring in chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, or basil into the pasta and of course lemon zest for extra fresh and delicious flavours. There are many variations of this dish especially in the way the veggies are prepared ahead of time. Some recipes call for grilling the veggies, others ask that you roast them before or even blanch them. All of them are great and affect the texture and flavours of this pasta.
This quick version doesn’t require any of that. The heartier veggies get either pan fried with the onions as they cook at the beginning and the rest get added in and get steamed and cooked along with the pasta until they are tender. When it comes to the protein addition - there are options. The shrimp cooks perfectly in just a few minutes of getting stirred in with the pasta. But if you wanted to add chicken you definitely would have to pan fry it before. You can either pan fry it first (then remove it from pan and continue with recipe as is) or grill it or roast it then add it back to the pan when you add the Parmesan cheese. If you want to make this a meatless pasta primavera that is totally ok too. Leave out the shrimp and either replace with more veggies or leave as is. I love it both ways. For a vegan version I would use a veggie based broth and either finish it off with a vegan butter or instead some olive oil. When I want a lighter version that is how I make mine. As for of Parmesan cheese feel free to leave out or add a little bit of nutritional yeast.
You will love this Shrimp Pasta Primavera because you can make it in one pot, on your stove top, in 30 minutes or less. It’s packed with bright green veggies, al dente pasta, a light cream sauce and plenty of plump shrimp. Finished with bright and citrusy lemon butter and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, this is springtime supper perfection.
I have partnered up with Metro Ontario to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion peeled and diced
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- ¼ tsp chili flakes
- 2 cups shiitake mushrooms (left as is if small, for larger ones remove stems and slice caps)
- 12 ounces/ ¾ lb of pasta (any short pasta)
- 3 cups of broth or water (plus more if needed)
- ½ cup of cream or milk (sub with more broth/water if keeping it lighter)
- 6 oz (1 ½ cups approx) asparagus, trimmed and chopped into approx 1 inch pieces
- 340 grams/11oz large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left on (I used Irresistibles Pacific White Shrimp)
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 pint/2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped basil
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat and add the onion, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes until softened and translucent. Add mushrooms, chili flakes and garlic, and stir to incorporate with the onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to evenly season.
- Add the pasta and stir in 3 cups of broth and ½ cup of cream or milk. Cover and bring to a simmer. Once boiling, uncover and cook, setting a timer for cooking pasta according to package directions and stirring often. (If pot starts to dry out at any point, add another ½ cup broth.)
- When 2-3 minutes remain on timer, stir in shrimp, peas, asparagus and butter. Cover and continue to cook for remaining minutes, then uncover and cook, stirring, until pasta is tender, shrimp are cooked through, and sauce is reduced.
- Remove from heat. Stir in ¾ cup Parmesan and toss to coat until it’s melted into sauce.
- Toss in the lemon zest and tomatoes and season with more salt and pepper, if needed.
- Divide pasta among plates. Top with basil, and additional Parmesan.