On a side note, I didn’t have any carrots so I was forced to omit them when I made this dish. Luckily it turned out alright.
Taste: Every ingredient compliments each other perfectly flavor-wise; sweet, spicy, acidic, bitter, fresh. Overall the dish is light and summery.
Texture: Crisp vegetables, al dente pasta, light yet velvety sauce, and perfectly wilted greens.
Ease: This recipe require a lot of prep work and steps but should still take less than 40 minutes.
Appearance: Most of the veggies are the same size as the pasta and present a rainbow of colors so it just looks healthy.
Cons: I wish this recipe were quicker but luckily most of the ingredients can be prepped ahead of time to make it an easy weeknight meal.
Pros: This pasta dish serves two people! Since most of the time I am cooking for myself and sometimes my boyfriend, meals that don’t waste food are perfect.
Would I make this again? Probably a version of it.
Whole Wheat Pasta with Summer Veggie Sauce
Adapted from Cooking for 2
Note: To make this recipe vegetarian, substitute low-sodium vegetable broth for the chicken broth. Yellow squash can be substituted for the zucchini.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick (see note)
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 small onion, sliced thin
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth (see note)
- 1/4 pound whole-wheat rotini pasta or other curly shaped whole wheat pasta
- 1 1/2 cups baby arugula
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- freshly ground black pepper
- grated Parmesan cheese
1. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring often, until well browned, about 3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes, toss to combine, and cook until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Add 1 teaspoon more oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the carrot, onion, bell pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt, cover, and cook until the vegetables have softened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and continue to cook until it begins to brown, about 1 minute. Stir in the garlic and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute; cover and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt, and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
4. Add the sauteed zucchini-tomato mixture, broth mixture, arugula, basil, and remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the cooked pasta, and gently toss to combine. Cover and let sit off the heat until the vegetables are hot, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste and adjust sauce consistency with the reserved cooking water as desired. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve.