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Pesto Penne Primavera


  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 cups mini penne pasta
  • 1 cup chopped asparagus
  • 1/2 cup sliced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sliced Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup diced roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Combine basil, garlic, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup olive oil, and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until well combined and mixture has texture of fresh pesto; set aside.

Bring pot of lightly salted water to boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until cooked yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes or according to pcakges directions; drain, reserving one cup of the pasta cooking water. Transfer pasta to large bowl. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil over pasta and toss to coat.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Roast pine nuts in skillet until lightly browned; remove to plate and set aside. Add asparagus, zucchini, Kalamata olives, roasted red pepper, and sun-dried tomatoes to skillet; cook and stir until hot, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir pine nuts into vegetable mixture. Add pasta and about 1/4 cup of the pesto, or more to your liking, to the skillet and toss to combine. Add pasta cooking water, as needed to make saucy to taste.

Serve in bowls topped with the grated Parmesan cheese. This is great hot or cold!

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