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Lighter version of pasta primavera

Dec. 23, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

Traditional pasta primavera includes pasta topped with sauteed vegetables in a heavy cream sauce with butter. This lighter version from the Mayo Clinic is much lower in calories, fat and sodium, and is fresher tasting. It isn't intended to be saucy like its traditional counterpart.

Serves 6


2 c. broccoli florets

1 c. sliced mushrooms

1 c. sliced zucchini or yellow squash

2 c. sliced red or green peppers

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 c. chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. butter

1 c. evaporated fat-free milk

3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

12 oz. whole-wheat pasta (angel hair or spaghetti)

1/3 c. finely chopped fresh parsley


In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring about 1 inch of water to boil. Add the broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini and peppers. Cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pot.

In large saucepan, heat the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic over medium heat. Add the steamed vegetables and stir or shake to coat the vegetables with the onion and garlic mixture. Remove from heat but keep warm.

In another large saucepan, heat the butter, evaporated milk and Parmesan cheese. Stir over moderate heat until somewhat thickened and heated through. Stir continuously and don't scald. Remove from heat but keep warm.

In the meantime, fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender), about 10 to 12 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain the pasta thoroughly.

Divide the pasta evenly among individual plates. Top with vegetables and pour the sauce over the vegetables and pasta. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving: calories, 350; sodium, 224 mg; total fat 7 g; total carbohydrate 55 g; saturated fat 3 g; dietary fiber 7 g; monounsaturated fat, 3 g; protein, 17 g; cholesterol, 12 mg.