TIMING: 1/2 hour, including time to boil water and cook pasta
DIFFICULTY: Easy, as long as you can chop some veggies
TOOLS: Knives, cutting board, other normal things
COOK TYPE: Stove top
HEALTH: I have recommended before, and I will recommend again that you have vegetarian night once or twice a week. Of course, this is pasta, which I have also recommended you eat no more than once per week. So, if you haven’t had pasta in awhile, this is a quick, easy, cheap meal full of fresh veggies and beans as your protein.
EXPERIENCE: We have had this before, but as a side salad in its more original form: without beans or cheese. I wanted to make it an entree, however, so I added the beans and mozzarella and increased the veggies. You could make it either way: as a side, especially for a summer picnic or buffet, or as a simple summer entree.
- In a large soup pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook 1 pound fusilli, penne, or rotini according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water.
- Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon safflower oil over medium-high heat. Saute 2 moon-sliced zucchini or summer squash and 2 sliced bell peppers of different colors until beginning to soften. Add 3 sliced scallions, salt and pepper. Cook 3 more minutes. Add 1 cup frozen peas and cook just until the peas are heated through. Set aside.
- Put pasta in a large serving bowl and add the veggies, 1 can drained canellini beans, 1 squeezed and grated lemon, 2 chopped tomatoes, a large handful of chopped parsley, a large handful of chopped basil, and a hefty drizzle of olive oil. Toss.
- When pasta and veggies are cool, add 3/4 cup grated Parmesan and 4 oz diced part-skim mozzarella. Taste for salt and pepper.
Serve as an informal meal on a summer night. It could be accompanied by a green salad or some antipasto. Yes, we had garlic bread, but I wouldn’t actually condone it.
*Recipe has been changed from the original.