You know, I love pasta dishes as they are cheap, easy to make and very versatile. If you are working and don’t have much time, this is a dish you can prepare in no time. Although I do not work, during summers I love to spend my time at the beach rather than being in the kitchen all day, so it’s a period I prefer to cook something easy but without sparing on the taste.
Pasta with vegetables tastes so good and is a perfect healthy and fresh tasting summer meal for someone on diet! Although pasta is rich in carbohydrates, it’s not fattening or unhealthy. Eaten in moderation pasta can be a great source of energy and help your carbohydrate intake. Combined with lots of vegetables and a little olive oil, it’s a perfect meal.
I’ve chosen some of my favourite summer vegetables but feel free to substitute with whatever you like best but it’s also perfect for cleaning out the fridge as well.
For this vegetable pasta recipe I sautéed the onion and garlic with a little olive oil and removed as much as I could before it browned. I then added the zucchini, cut in very thin slices, which sucked up the flavour from the olive oil, garlic and onion, then tossed in the mushrooms, peppers, cherry tomatoes and added in the garlic and onion again. I added about 2 tablespoons of my favourite pesto and then added the pasta with a little of the pasta water, so that everything would mix and absorb the flavours. This makes the zucchini tender and flavourful but don’t overcook as we want to have a crunch on the zucchini and you can feel a crunch from the almonds in the pesto as well. Cherry tomatoes and peppers add a sweetness to the dish. For me each raw cherry tomato is a burst of powerful summer flavor, but with a bit of cooking, they are even better. As for mushrooms what can I say, I can’t have enough of them.
The recipe is vegan as I do not add cheese to the pesto. If you like, however, you can add some cheese on top but for me it’s not necessary as the dish is delicious as it is and there is no need to add any more calories!!
Hot Vegetable Pasta Salad, Recipe by Ivy
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
200 grams farfalle, cooked al dente
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely cut
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped 1 cup zucchini cut into very thin slices
5 cherry tomatoes cut in half
5 button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup bell peppers, various colours, julienned
2 tbsp mint pesto or your favourite pesto
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- Cook pasta, al dente, for about 15 minutes or according to package instructions.
- In a non stick frying pan or sautéing pan add 2 tbsp olive oil and sauté the onion, until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté lightly and just before they start to brown remove them, keeping the oil and adding the other tablespoon.
- Add the zucchini in one layer and sauté on each side for about 2 – 3 minutes.
- In the meantime cut the mushrooms, the bell peppers, the cherry tomatoes in half and set aside and finely chop the parsley.
- When the zucchini is done, add the mushrooms, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the sautéed onion and garlic and mix.
- Drain your pasta, reserving about ¼ cup of pasta water.
- Add the pasta to the pan, salt & pepper, the pesto and the water and mix until most of the water is absorbed.
Serve with finely chopped parsley and freshly ground black pepper on top.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!