We’re told to eat more vegetables and that most Americans aren’t getting enough of such foods. This is no issue for me because fruits and veggies are my favorite foods. (Yep, I know I’m unusual!) We’re also told to cut back on processed foods of all sorts. Pasta is included in that list. However, I for one am Italian. I don’t see any way I could live without my pasta! I was raised on the stuff! It makes me feel good and satisfied when I eat it, so I don’t think I’m about to eliminate it from my food list.
However, that doesn’t mean that I can’t cut back on it. Hence, this dish was developed. It’s vegetables with pasta…not pasta with vegetables. It’s a lot of vegetables with a little bit of pasta. Just enough pasta to tell you it’s a pasta dish and to satisfy that pasta urge. It’s a light dish, yet satisfying. You can eat a lot of it without feeling bloated or bogged down.
Furthermore, it’s extremely flexible and easy to prepare. Make it YOUR way…with the array of vegetables that you want and have on hand. The key to the dish is the herb combination, lending a yummy flavor to no matter what veggies are included.
Use about half the pasta you normally would per person and double up on the amount of vegetables you’d normally fix per person. The recipe/video below are geared for an individual serving. Increase the amounts accordingly per your taste and vegetable preference.
Vegetables with Pasta
Makes 1 Serving (Increase as needed)
1 oz dry pasta of choice
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 to 3/4 tsp dried parsley flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Small pinch of dried red pepper flakes, optional
1-1/2 to 2 cups vegetables of choice
Vegetable Combo Suggestion:
Large handful of fresh spinach leaves
1/2 Roma tomato, chopped
1 to 1-1/4 cup frozen California blend of vegetables (not thawed)
1/2 cup red kidney beans, optional
Parmesan and or shredded Mozzarella cheese
Gather vegetables of choice and herbs. Put water on for pasta. When water boils, add pasta and cook according to directions.
As pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add about 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and allow it to heat briefly. Add garlic and onion and allow them to saute for about 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients except cheese. Stir to combine.
Cover vegetables and allow them to cook for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat until slightly tender. Stir occasionally while cooking. If they start getting too dry, add a little of the boiling pasta water (a couple tablespoons at a time) to keep them moist. Reduce heat to low to keep them warm until the pasta is finished.
Drain cooked pasta and top with vegetable mixture. Add more olive oil if desired for moisture. Toss pasta with vegetables. Top with grated Parmesan and/or shredded Mozzarella cheese.
Note: This dish would also be good served with chicken or meatballs. They may be cooked in the skillet before the garlic and onion are added.