Lemony Bow-Tie Pasta Primavera with Bay Scallops or Adzuki Beans

Asparagus, peas, carrot and artichoke create a bone-warming primavera that works equally well with seared scallops or sauteed adzuki beans.

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Serves: 3 omnivores and 1 vegetarian
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


  • 8 oz asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 3/4 cup frozen and thawed peas
  • 8 oz whole-wheat bow-tie pasta
  • 1/2 cup cooked or BPA-free canned unsalted adzuki or other small red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 pinches sea salt, plus additional to taste, optional
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 12 oz bay scallops, patted dry
  • 5 tbsp reduced-fat plain cream cheese
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup (5 oz) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced


  1. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. To boiling water, add asparagus and carrot and boil for 1 minute. Add peas and boil for 1 minute more. Using a small sieve or slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to ice water and let cool for 1 minute. Drain.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Reserve pot for use in Step Four.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine beans, oil and 1 pinch each salt and pepper. Heat on medium until warmed through, then reduce to low heat to keep warm. Mist a large sauté pan with cooking spray and heat on medium. Season scallops with 1 pinch each salt and pepper and add to pan. Sauté until scallops are opaque and cooked through, about 3 minutes.
  4. Return pasta pot to stove top on low. Add cream cheese, reserved pasta water, additional salt (if using), remaining pepper and garlic powder and whisk until smooth. Add artichoke hearts and cook for 30 seconds. Add asparagus, carrot, peas, pasta, lemon zest, lemon juice and basil. Toss to coat pasta with sauce.
  5. Transfer 1 1/2 cups pasta to 1 serving bowl and add beans. Add scallops to remaining pasta in pot and toss to combine. Divide among 3 serving bowls.

Nutrients per Omnivore Serving (2 cups pasta primavera): Calories: 371, Total Fat: 6 g, Sat. Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 56 g, Fiber: 9 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 27 g, Sodium: 627 mg, Cholesterol: 40 mg

Nutrients per Vegetarian Serving (2 1/2 cups pasta primavera): Calories: 478, Total Fat: 10 g, Sat. Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 81 g, Fiber: 18 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 22 g, Sodium: 191 mg, Cholesterol: 13 mg

Nutrition Bonus: Asparagus contains a high amount of vitamin K, and you’ll knock out 57% of your recommended daily value (DV) by eating just 1 cup of the green spears. Vitamin K is key to healthy blood clotting while it also helps to prevent and reduce calcification of the arteries, and can help protect bones from fracture and post-menopausal bone loss. 

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