Pasta primavera is a classic for good reasons: it’s delicious, easy to customize according to taste (or availability of fresh produce), and adaptable to any cooking level. And there are few better ways to celebrate spring than this simple dish, perhaps with a bouquet of fresh flowers on the table.

daffodils 2015

Food Ideas

  • Love to Cook: Primavera with homemade pasta
  • Weeknight Reality: Classic pasta primavera (with dried pasta)
  • Need a Miracle: Fresh pasta from the refrigerated section; frozen mixed vegetables for the sauce (butter & cream)

Recipe Links

Parting Thought

Quiero hacer contigo lo que la primavera hace con los cerezos.

Pablo Neruda

Prompt Recap: March 1, 2015

Missed a day or want a full set of ideas in one place? Here are six prompts to help you make it through the week, whether you have plenty of time to cook or need a miracle nightly. Click the one word prompt to go to the full set of ideas and recipe links.

Want a daily nudge in your inbox? Click the Follow button on the right.

Garlic Something stout and pungent to ward off evil spirits


  • Love to Cook: Whole Roast Chicken; Aioli with Roasted Vegetables
  • Weeknight Reality: Garlic Shrimp with Linguini (or Beans)
  • Need a Miracle: Grazing Platter with Olives, Dried Salami, Garlic Hummus, Garlic & Herb Boursin Cheese, Crackers & Fresh Vegetables

BrothWarm savory liquid, stocked with goodness and flavor

Italian Wedding Soup

  • Love to Cook: Italian Wedding Soup; Whole Grain Peasant Loaf
  • Weeknight Reality: Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup with Cheese Toasts
  • Need a Miracle: Minestrone (from the grocery deli); Take-and-Bake Garlic Bread


CreamSomething rich and soft, well-blended


  • Love to Cook: Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce; Braised Leeks
  • Weeknight Reality: Sautéed Beef Tips with Creamed Spinach, or Baked Eggs with Herbed Cream
  • Need a Miracle: Grilled Chicken Kebabs (store-bought); Berries with Fresh Whipped Cream

ContrastSomething with sharply contrasting but complementary flavors or colors

Swiss chard 2014

  • Love to Cook: “Christmas” Enchiladas or Burritos (alternating red and green chile)
  • Weeknight Reality: Bow-Tie Pasta with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce; Swiss Chard Salad with Dried Fruit
  • Need a Miracle: Take-out Hot Wings with Celery and Blue Cheese Dressing


MintSomething bright and clean with a clear finish


  • Love to Cook: Lamb Kebabs with Mint Pesto
  • Weeknight Reality: Spring Rolls with Vegetable Fried Rice
  • Need a Miracle: Grilled Chicken Salad with Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream for Dessert


Toast Something warm with a crisp edge


  • Love to Cook: Brioche French Toast with Maple Syrup and Grilled Sausage
  • Weeknight Reality: Turkey Burgers with Cheddar & Avocado on Toasted English Muffins
  • Need a Miracle: Toasted French Bread Slices with Deli Platter (Prosciutto, Gorgonzola, Fig Jam & Arugula, etc.)


Want more dinner inspiration? Click on the Follow button to receive daily updates by email.

All words and images belong to Jennifer Balink, 2015. Want to borrow? Please ask first.