Pasta Primavera


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring once or twice, for 5 to 7 minutes, until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Stir in asparagus and peas and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes, or until asparagus is tender and peas are cooked through. Add cherry tomatoes and pesto, stir well, and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Return penne to the cooking pot. Scrape primavera sauce into the pot and toss to combine.


Spoon into four bowls and garnish each with 1 tablespoon pine nuts (if using).


If asparagus is unavailable, use chopped zucchini, green beans, or sliced mushrooms in its place.

Makes 4 Servings


  • 12 ounces whole wheat or wheat- alternative penne

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin avocado oil

  • 1 leek, chopped (trim off oots and tough outer leaves)

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh asparagus (see options)

  • 1 cup sliced fresh snow peas or frozen peas

  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

  • 3 ⁄ 4 cup Basil Pesto (page 85), or store- bought

  • Sea salt and pepper


  • 1 ⁄ 4 cup pine nuts or shelled raw sunflower seeds

From "The Reducetarian Solution: How The Surprisingly Simple Act of Reducing The Amount of Meat in Your Diet Can Transform Your Health and The Planet" edited by Brian Kateman (Penguin Random House). Recipe developed by Pat Crocker. Photo by Ashleigh Amoroso.