Warm Chicken Pasta Salad with Spring Vegetables

Pasta Primavera is an American invention from the 1970’s.

I say ‘American’ because both Nova Scotia and New York have a spot in the story.

I have always disagreed with most ‘Pasta Primavera’ recipes.

Primavera means spring so, in my opinion, the dish should be made with spring vegetables.

Many Pasta Primavera recipes have summer vegetables (tomatoes, peppers) or even winter vegetables (broccoli).

This is my version, using only spring vegetables…..

And named accordingly.

Warm Chicken Pasta Salad with Spring Vegetables   

Total time: 30 minutes


  • 6oz (180gr) green asparagus
  • 4oz (120gr) snow peas, mangetout, pea pods
  • 1/2  – 3/4 cup fava beans    you’ll need about 1lb (500gr) of pods to start with,    substitute edamame
  • 4 green garlic, sliced, including green tops   substitute 4 green onions
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs fresh, snipped chives
  • 1 1/4 cups (3.5oz, 100gr) farfalle pasta
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 1/2 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbs good olive oil
  • Grilled Chicken:
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Marinade:
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbs olive oil

Chicken Pasta Salad with Spring Vegetables


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, drain well.
  • Mix marinade and pour over chicken.  Let marinate for 15 – 30 minutes.
  • Heat a sauce pan of water to boiling.
  • Roll cut the asparagus into 1″ (2.5cm) lengths.
  • Trim the snow peas.
  • Remove fava beans from the pods.
  • Blanch vegetables, one type at a time, in boiling water: asparagus for 3 minutes, snow peas for 2 minutes and fava beans for 2 minutes.
  • Remove each from water and put into cold water.
  • Shell fava beans (see notes).
  • Cook chicken on barbecue grill, 10 – 15 minutes, or until done or can be sautéed in skillet for about the same amount of time.
  • Remove and slice.
  • Whisk together mustard and vinegar for vinaigrette.
  • Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly.
  • To Assemble:
  • Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add green garlic or onion, asparagus and  snow peas.  Stir-fry for 2 minutes, until hot and starting to brown.
  • Add drained pasta and toss to heat through.
  • Put into a large bowl, add fava beans, chives and sliced chicken.
  • Pour vinaigrette over and toss well to combine.


Roll cut:  Cut the end off at an angle, roll 1/4 turn and slice at the same angle, roll 1/4 and slice, etc.  This gives you interesting looking pieces with lots of surface.  It’s normally used on round vegetables: carrots, asparagus, etc.

Peel fava beans:  They peel like peas: break open the pod and take the beans out.  Don’t bother with any really tiny ones.  After blanching they will have a whitish outer shell.  Just squeeze lightly and the inner, bright green bean will pop out.  It may split in half… that’s okay.

Print Recipe

We’re on vacation.

When we first moved here I was amazed at the length of the school year. It starts at the end of August and goes through the end of June.

I didn’t really understand how the vacations work. Now that I’m in school I do.

The calendar that our postal lady gives us every Christmas (in exchange for us giving her a contribution to her Christmas fund) has the school vacations for the country highlighted.

There are four vacations of two weeks each: one in the fall, one over Christmas, one in late winter and one in the spring. The schools are divided into three groups and the weeks are staggered over a four week time-frame so that the entire country isn’t heading for the same ski slopes or beaches at the same time.

Very practical.

Having eight weeks of holiday during the school year explains having only eight weeks of holiday for the summer break.

What I find interesting / amusing is that, at the beginning of each holiday our French teacher asks our class what we’re going to be doing on our vacation.

Every time she asks, someone in class explains that, while she, and the other teachers who work all day, every day, are actually having a two week holiday, those of us who attend class one morning per week are having a two morning holiday,

Hardly enough time to get excited about.

But I am.

I think it’s just a Pavlovian response ingrained from childhood: School vacation… YAY!!!

I’m submitting this dish to the Four Seasons Food Challenge hosted by Delicieux this month (alternate months at  Eat Your Veg ) The theme is ‘Celebrate Vegetables’.


And also to Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays, a collection of ‘made from scratch’ recipes


5 thoughts on “Warm Chicken Pasta Salad with Spring Vegetables”

  1. This looks fabulous! Definitely going in my spring menu though yesterday, we drove through a tornado with hail the size of peas (which was good because my DH just got his brand new truck on Thursday!) And tomorrow, we’re supposed to have snow overnight and into Tuesday. Spring around here is only a date on a calendar.

  2. I’ve heard that in parts of the US, school systems are moving to a similar vacation structure. Which in a lot of ways, seems to make sense to break up the year and give students a bit of respite. Love this twist on pasta primavera and definitely more in keeping with spring…

  3. What a lovely salad with a great vinaigrette and marinade. I bet this would be a great dish to pack up for a picnic lunch. Thanks for another lovely entry into Four Seasons Food x

  4. nightsmusic, I would be so upset with snow this late in the season. Much happier with asparagus….

    Kate, yes, but you have other things to look forward too ;-))

    Javelin Warrior, and I think it’s better for the kids not to have such a long break in the summer. Of course, I didn’t think that when I was a kid LOL

    annelifaiers, you’re right – it makes a great picnic lunch – and you’re welcome Love the event!

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