Gorgeously Green Spring Pasta

As the name suggests, there’s no shortage of greens in this filling pasta dish. Four veggies and three herbs combine to give this meal a refreshing, flavorful taste, while a breadcrumb and toasted-walnut topping adds texture for the perfect finish.

Penne with Spring Vegetables


  • 1 box Barilla® ProteinPLUS® penne pasta
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (or panko)
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1.5 cups)
  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) spring peas
  • 1 large zucchini, julienned
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped


Preheat oven to 400?F.

Spread walnuts on a small sheet pan and place in the oven for 5–8 minutes or until lightly toasted. In a food processor, pulse together bread crumbs, walnuts and zest of one lemon. Pour into a medium dish and toss with parsley and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Cook to al dente and drain, reserving one cup of the cooking water.

While pasta is cooking, pour olive oil into a large sauté pan. Add leeks and asparagus, and saute over medium heat for about 4 minutes until they start to soften. Add peas, zucchini, salt and pepper. Sauté another 5 minutes until all of the vegetables are slightly softened. Add zest of second lemon and reserved cooking water and stir gently until combined.

Return pasta to cooking pot. Add vegetables to pasta and toss to combine. Gently stir in mint and basil. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.

Top with 2 tablespoons of the walnut mixture and serve.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 7 |Serving Size: 1/7th of recipe

Per serving: Calories: 430; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 250mg; Carbohydrate: 55g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 18g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 326mg; Iron: 31%; Vitamin A: 15%; Vitamin C: 15%; Calcium: 6%

Source: My Fitness Pal