Creamy Vegetable Pasta Toss

Go Bold With Butter

Nearly every Saturday morning in the summer, my mom and I rendezvous at 8:00 a.m., grab a quick coffee to go, and then head downtown for the weekly farmer’s market.

Arriving early ensures we beat the heat (and the crowds!) and are able to stroll the streets, peruse the produce, and visit with vendors in the cool quiet of the morning, before the rest of the city wakes up. It’s without a doubt my favorite part of the week.

Generally we walk away with our bags chock full of vine-ripened tomatoes, hearty squash, sweet ears of corn, and tender broccoli, among other things, which I most always use to make easy, one-dish Creamy Vegetable Pasta Toss for dinner later that night.

Garden-fresh vegetables are sautéed with classic flavors like butter, garlic, salt and pepper, then finished with a satisfying swirl of cream, dash of Parmesan cheese, and sprinkle of basil chiffonade. Enjoy with a glass of crisp white wine on the side!

Creamy Vegetable Pasta Toss
Serves 4


4 ounces uncooked short pasta, like penne, or rotini
3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup summer squash, sliced
Salt & pepper
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen-then-thawed)
1/3 cup half & half
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup packed basil, sliced thin, divided


Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, green onions, and red chili pepper flakes, then sauté until onions are tender and garlic is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli and summer squash, season with salt and pepper, then sauté until vegetables are crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and corn, then sauté until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Add half & half and Parmesan cheese to the skillet, then cook until thickened slightly, about 1 minute. Add in cooked pasta and half the basil, then toss to combine. Taste, adding more salt and pepper if necessary, then serve topped with remaining basil.

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Use softened butter for cookies and cakes.

Bringing butter to room temperature helps it incorporate better with other ingredients.

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  1. Anne Carroll said:

    Really good. I was out of cream and fresh basil so added 1/3 c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup light mayo and 1/3 c. skim milk, fresh chives, extra red pepper flakes and we loved it. I doubled the pasta, added two types of summer squash and fresh cauliflower. I try not to use salt, and the extra bang of red pepper plus the sweet flavor of the corn, really brought it all together. My husband is not a pasta pan per se, but he really enjoyed this. I will definitely make it again.