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.