My Nonna often travels back to her homeland from her armchair. Every evening in fact. And so, when I stayed with her for the weekend, we visited Lidia’s Italy and she showed us the secret to perfect, saucy pasta: pasta water. When I visited my Mamma’s kitchen shortly after, she showed me how to take “perfect” to the next level: butter. (Don’t be shy, Men’s Health shows its good for you!)

In this recipe, I substitute butter for goat cheese, which gives the fresh Fall vegetables a lovely, refreshing and creamy touch. I’m saving my buttery Sausage and Pepper Pasta for my cookbook, but just to whet your appetite, I’ve included a sneak peek below!1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Sausage and Pepper Pasta: Your sneak peek – a bowl of delectable goodness.

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Pasta Primavera

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 5-6 portions


  • Penne pasta – 5-6 portions penne pasta
  • Olive oil – 3 tablespoons
  • Yellow onion – 1 cup, sliced
  • Cherry tomatoes – 1 cup
  • Green beans – 1 cup 1-inch pieces of green beans
  • Zucchini – 1 cup zucchini, julienned, or cut into thin “1 pinky finger x 1 pinky nail” sized strips
  • Garlic – 2 tablespoons, minced
  • Rosemary – 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary, or substitute for dried
  • Thyme – 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or substitute for dried
  • Sea salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Black pepper – 1/4 teaspoon, freshly ground
  • Butter – 1.5 tablespoons of unsalted or salted butter
  • Parsley leaves – 1 cup
  • Goat cheese – 1.5 tablespoons of goat cheese (instead of butter)
  • Water – 1 cup water, bit by bit


  1. Submerge the pasta in plenty of salted water, and bring to a boil. Follow the box or packet instructions for cooking time. Cook the pasta until al dente, or slightly firm – this will be 1-2 minutes before the suggested cooking time. Drain the pasta but save 1 cup of pasta water! Return the pasta to the pan and add a splash of olive oil to the pasta to keep it from sticking while you make the sauce – keep the pasta covered with a lid.
  2. In a cast iron skillet or large saute pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onions, stir and coat with olive oil, and cover with a lid. Saute until translucent.
  4. Add the cherry tomatoes and squash them gently with the back of a spoon so the seeds burst into the pan. Saute until the skins shrivel.
  5. Add the green beans, zucchini, and garlic. Stir well. Add one tablespoon of pasta water, and cover with a lid. Cook until the beans and zucchini are tender.
  6. Add the herbs, salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons of pasta water. Stir well.
  7. Add the pasta and stir for about 5 more minutes. The pasta will finish cooking, while the pasta water will create a thicker sauce.
  8. Remove from the stovetop and stir in the parsley and goat cheese.


Allergens: dairy

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