Sunday, May 3, 2009

Penne with Spring Vegetables

Sometimes you just want something light, fresh, nutritious and filling- but not too filling- and still delicious.  And sometimes, all you need to get that is a few fresh vegetables and some pantry basics.  (Hey, I never claimed to be a revolutionary.)  

Penne with Spring Vegetables

1/2 lb. dried penne pasta  (I like Barilla Plus or Ronzoni Smart Taste)
1 medium Italian yellow squash
1 medium zucchini
2 small broccoli crowns
1 red onion
1 garlic clove
A handful of grape or cherry tomatoes  OR  2 Roma tomatoes
Extra-virgin olive oil (The good stuff-  cold-pressed, imported from Italy)
Balsamic vinegar (Again, a good one)
Salt & pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add the penne and a small amount of salt.  Continue to cook penne according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan over medium-low heat. 

Halve the squash and zucchini lengthwise.  Halve lengthwise again, so you have long triangular sticks.  Chop the sticks (haha) into pieces approximately 1/4 inch thick.  Cut broccoli crowns off the stem, creating large-ish florets.  If using grape or cherry tomatoes, halve them.  If using Roma or another variety of tomato, seed and dice them.  Remove the skin from the red onion, and slice off two very thin, uh, slices.  (Note to self: work on cooking vocabulary.)  Mince garlic or press in garlic press, whichever you prefer.

Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the saute pan.  Let it heat through for about a minute, then add the vegetables and garlic, except for the tomatoes.  (If you prefer, you could keep the broccoli out and steam it.  But that means another pot to clean, and I do enough dishes already.)  Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender-crisp or desired doneness.  Remove from heat.

See, it's even pretty while it's cooking.

Combine penne and cooked vegetables in a serving bowl.  Add the tomatoes.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, also to taste.  Toss to coat.  Admire its gorgeousness.  Serve warm.   (Serves 4.)


Anonymous said...

hi wendy, :) thx for the invite to your food blog...really enjoying it! We've been enjoying asparagas a lot lately as well...grilled tonight, creamy soup last's been fun. i'm a sucker for creamy soups as well, though have trouble with milk, so i use coconut milk instead. it's got a sweet taste, will never curdle, and is soo good for you! looking forward to more great recipes...take care, trina

Utah Bubble Guy said...

I am missing my wife's amazing cooking as she is away for a couple of weeks... oh man you don't know what you've got till it's gone for a few weeks!

Mary said...

Love this dish. Thanks for the inspiration Wendy!