Wednesday, March 3, 2010

For When Life Gets Busy: A Simple, Delicious Vegetable Pasta

I love dishes that are able to deliver a lot of flavor with just a few simple ingredients.

It's especially important to have a few of these favorites around when life gets busy, and February was an especially busy month for me.

Here's a quick and simple pasta I threw together. A local food columnist I read religiously suggested flavoring simply with garlic and crushed red pepper. I wanted a more balanced dish so thought it would be good to add some vegetables, zucchini and grape tomatoes are two of my favorites and I almost always have them on hand.

Next time I think I will try it with a bit of lemon juice too.

Simply Delicious Vegetable Pasta

4-6 cloves garlic, depending on the size
2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 zucchini, cut into halved thin slices
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 lb strand pasta (like spaghetti or capellini)
2 tbsp olive oil

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large sauté pan, allow it to get warm but not too hot

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta and cook according to package directions, reserving a cup of pasta water when it is finished.

When oil is warm add garlic to the oil and cook just until flavor, and scent, is released. Be careful not to burn it!

Add zucchini and toss to coat with oil. Cook until it softens and begins to turn translucent.

Add tomatoes. Cook just a couple minutes until they warm thru and begin to soften. Add 2 tsp of crushed red pepper and toss with vegetables.

Add 1 Tbsp of water to pan to deglaze if necessary. Pour cooked vegetables over cooked pasta, being sure to get any oil left behind and all the bits of garlic and crushed red pepper.

Drizzle remaining Tbsp of oil over pasta and toss gently with tongs to combine. If pasta is too dry add more of the reserved pasta water.

I recommend serving topped with parmesan cheese.

I will also be posting this recipe (as I plan to do with all my pasta recipes) on this week's Presto Pasta Nights. For the 3rd anniversary of the pasta round-up it will be hosted by it's creator at Once Upon a Feast. So look for it and a bunch of other delicious pastas this Fri.


  1. I love how beautifully simple this is! Great for lazy summer days kind of like pasta aglio e'olio.

    ~Kurious Kitteh

  2. Fantastic dish. Thanks so much for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. I'm looking forward to lots more of your pastas at future roundups.

  3. This looks great! Awesome blog!!

  4. There are definitely some times when simple is the way to go...garlic is the ultimate flavoring. Love this dish!

  5. whoa, looks AWESOME! I am inspired to make it! nice pix you take, too. damn.

  6. Perfect overview and very simple to try. so I'm definetly going to put this into the 'must do' list. I'm always on the lookout for cheap, easy ideas for pasta to do at the daycare I work at.