Vegetable Pasta Italiano

I just love a meal I can throw together in a few minutes.  This is super easy and makes use of prepared organic marinara sauce.  I’ve tried it with all kinds of pasta sauces and you just can’t go wrong.   I add veggies to it and prefer to leave them chunky, but my sister always “hid” the veggies in hers by pureeing them so her kids wouldn’t know there were veggies in there.  Sometimes you just have to be sneaky!    I used broccoli, zucchini, carrots, red bell pepper and onions.  You could also add ground beef, ground turkey or italian sausage too if you are so inclined.   By adding veggies, you can also stretch this to serve more people.

I prefer quinoa pasta (pronounced keen wah) because of it’s health benefits.  Quinoa is a highly valued, sacred grain from Chile and is considered a complete protein because it contains a near perfect balance of all 8 essential amino acids, which is important for vegetarians.    It’s high in protein, calcium & iron, low fat, low sodium, gluten free, and has no cholesterol.  And it tastes great!

Add a salad and you’ve got a healthy meal that’s fast and easy!

Vegetable Pasta Italiano (serves 6)

  • 1 26 oz. jar of organic marinara sauce (or other pasta sauce)
  • 1 zucchini, sliced, then cut slices in half
  • 1-2 cups of broccoli florets and chopped stems
  • 3/4 cup of  sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Organic quinoa spaghetti-style pasta
  • grated parmesan cheese

Steam the broccoli, zuchinni and carrots for about 6-8 minutes until just tender.  Saute the onions, garlic and bell pepper in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil until the onions become translucent.  

Boil the water for the pasta and add a teaspoon of olive oil to the water.  Add the quinoa pasta and cook according to package directions (6-9 min usually).  Drain.

As soon as you put the pasta in the water, combine the marinara sauce, vegetables and sauteed onions & peppers in a sauce pan and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes to allow all the flavors to combine. 

Make your salad while the pasta and sauce are cooking.

Plate the pasta and ladle the sauce on top.   Sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan cheese and serve.

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