Vegetarian Springtime Rigatoni

Vegetarian Springtime Rigatoni

Rigatoni with Broccoli, Cherry Tomatoes, Arugula, and Buffalo Mozzarella
Recipe by Nicole Putzel

All hailing from Chicagoland, Chef Nicole Putzel and I were virtually introduced a few years back by our mutual friend and discerning foodie, Peg. We recently thought it might be fun to collaborate on some of our cooking experiences, especially during these challenging times.

Nicole sent me a copy of her delightful book just published last year, The Seasoned Plate: Delicious and Healthy Real Food. She says, “This cookbook is the result of a beautiful recipe: one of food, friendship, and wellness, told by the seasons.”

Throughout the seasons, Nicole would create a vegetable-centric recipe every Friday, often harvesting the produce from her own organic garden. Her friend Photographer Claudia Chocano would shoot the dishes, after which they would partake of the fruits of their labors together.

The first recipe I chose from the Spring section was this fresh, vibrant, vegetarian rigatoni dish. Nicole wrote, “This colorful pasta dish came together on an evening  when my house was filled with company and my guests asked for a tour of the vegetable garden. The broccoli, arugula, and basil were all ready for harvest and everyone was hungry, so voilà! This was a true crowd pleaser.”

Springtime Rigatoni Recipe and Cookbook Giveaway!

Springtime Rigatoni


  • 2 t. sea salt
  • 1 lb. dried rigatoni
  • 3 c. broccoli florets
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved and seasoned with a pinch each of salt and black pepper
  • 1 c. arugula
  • 1/3 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
  •  8 oz. buffalo mozzarella, in bite-sized pieces
  •  1/4 c. chiffonade of fresh basil for garnish

Springtime Rigatoni


  1. Bring 6 qts. of water to a boil. Add 1 t. salt and rigatoni to water. Stir gently and return to a boil. Boil, uncovered, 9 minutes. Add broccoli and boil 3 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Set hot pot aside.
  2. Add butter, oil, remaining salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to empty  hot pot. Mix in pasta and broccoli, arugula and stir in tomatoes and parmesan. Top with mozzarella.
  3. Garnish with basil and serve.

Giveaway Alert

Springtime Rigatoni Recipe by the Seasoned Plate

Nicole has generously offered to give away a copy of her wonderful cookbook, The Seasoned Plate: Delicious and Healthy Real Food. For a chance to win, simply follow us and leave a comment on the Springtime Rigatoni:

  1. Must follow both @putzelkitchen and @tasteblog on Instagram.
  2. Leave a comment on either of our Instagram sites. Or leave a comment on the Rigatoni here on Taste With The Eyes or on Putzel Kitchen, or either of our Facebook pages.
  3. The lucky winner picked by random on Sunday evening June 14, 2020. Winner announced Monday June 15, 2020.

UPDATE: Congrats to the Cookbook Winner @siegalpaula !!!

Springtime Rigatoni

UPDATE: Nicole’s Kale Salad Now Posted

Kale Salad with Lemon Basil Buttermilk Ranch

Kale Salad with Lemon Basil Buttermilk Ranch Dressing recipe here.

13 thoughts on “Vegetarian Springtime Rigatoni”

  1. Lori and Nicole,
    What a beautifully presented and photographed display of fresh vegetables, herbs and pasta.
    Can’t wait to try!

    1. Thanks Pat. You’ll love it. It’s such a harmonious and balanced pasta dish, light and healthy, perfect for the warmer weather! Kudos to Nicole for this recipe, it’s a keeper!

  2. Congrats to Nicole on her beautiful cookbook. So glad you two have connected. Lori, you are so talented. I always love your posts!

    1. Thanks for compliment Peg, you are so sweet.
      And thanks for the introduction to Nicole! I’ve really been enjoying Nicole’s Spring recipes, looking forward to cooking the Summer dishes too. Someone will be very happy to win her cookbook!
      Hi to all in Chicagoland.

  3. I love the the rigatoni just uses great ingredients and minimal spicing to really let the produce shine.

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