Pasta Primavera con Polpette

28 Aug

Pasta Primavera con Polpette Recipe
Recipe by

When I need to make a quick pasta and I’ve got some left over ground beef, because….well who doesn’t have left over ground beef? I like to throw together, what I’ve self-proclaimed Pasta Primavera con Polpette, which can sometimes be whatever vegetables I have left in the fridge with whatever short pasta is in my pantry. By no means is this a “specialty dish” but it’s easy to throw together (perhaps not as easy as Pasta Aglio e Olio) and it’s a hardy pasta with healthy ingredients that your family will enjoy. As always, I’m going to suggest vino with this (shocker!!!) and any red table wine is a nice compliment to this dish, such as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (that’s a shout-out to all of my Abruzzi amici…hip-hop Ah-bruzz-ohhh, hey, ho…. that’s how they roll down there). So here it is from Paggi Pazzo – Buon Appetito!

Pasta Primavera con Polpette

Pasta Primavera con Polpette

Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 30 min

Total time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1/2 pound cellentani pasta
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 6 whole basil leaves
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 8 ounce crushed tomatoes (San Marzano)
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini (medium size)
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • teaspoon milk
  • teaspoon Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Reggiano Parmigiano

Cooking Directions

  1. Chop 1 clove of garlic, 2 basil leaves, 1/4 of onion for polpette.
  2. Prepare polpette in a bowl by mixing ground beef with chopped garlic, onion, basil and add pinch of salt and pepper, teaspoon of milk and breadcrumbs (when I have the time I make my own but you can use pre-made) and mix together with hands.
  3. Create little “meat balls” but press down to create more oval shape and place on cooking tray and into pre-heated oven for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
  4. Chop remaining garlic, basil, and onion while slicing cherry tomatoes in halves and zucchini into thin slices.
  5. Begin to make primavera sauce in a large pan with olive oil, remaining chopped garlic and onion.
  6. Prepare pasta pot and add pinch of salt to water.
  7. Once garlic and onions begin to melt into the oil, add crushed tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, bay leaves and chopped basil, salt and pepper, and cook sauce at a low heat.
  8. After 15 minutes, add cooked polpette into the sauce and stir gently.
  9. When pot of water is boiling and cellentani (you can also use a variety of short pasta if you’d prefer).
  10. After 4 minutes of boiling water, add zucchini to pot of pasta and stir. Continue to stir until 10-11 minutes when pasta is “al dente”.
  11. Strain pot of pasta and zucchini and move to sauce.
  12. Stir all ingredients together and add grate Reggiano Parmigiano generously over pasta.
  13. Place into pasta bowl and devour!

Pasta Primavera con Polpette Recipe

5 out of 5
stars based on 16 ratings.

3 Responses to “Pasta Primavera con Polpette”

  1. Zada Shor November 13, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  2. Linda August 28, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    The paella and steak were fabulous but I’m a pasta junkie so now you’re talking! Feel free to make this every day!

  3. Paggi Pazzo August 28, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    Full disclosure….the polpette in the picture were actually made by my mother…. yup, I know….typical Italian son, right?

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