Wednesday, September 24, 2008


One of my favorite pasta dishes involves lots of zucchini and other squash - perfect for today since I have a bounty of them from the local farm.

Pasta with vegetable marinara
Serves: 5-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (all fresh from the farm today... I love living in California!):

  • (1 lb) pasta - whichever variety you choose, boiled to your desired done-ness.
  • (1 lb) ground turkey (optional). Alternatively, you can use ground beef, but turkey is healthier and tastes all the same.
  • (1) jar pasta sauce
  • (2-3) large tomatoes, cut into large wedges.
  • (1-2 lbs) squash, cut into large chunks. I have a wonderful selection of green and yellow zucchini, summer squash, yellow summer squash, and a round little squash that's adorable.
  • (1 tbsp) olive oil.
  • (5 cloves) garlic, finely minced.
  • Handful of fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade. Again, this is picked from my basil plant, which I have been nurturing for over 2 months now (thankfully, it has not gone the way of my other plants).
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Cook pasta. Drain and place aside.
  2. In same pan, or while you are cooking the pasta, place olive oil and garlic with pan on high heat.
  3. Sautee until garlic is aromatic.
  4. Add ground turkey (optional) and sautee until just cooked.
  5. Add zucchini and sautee until brown and just done.
  6. Add tomatoes until they begin to soften.

  7. Add tomato sauce and turn heat down to medium.
  8. Cook down until squash is done.
  9. Serve with pasta and fresh basil. I prefer not to cook the basil, but rather place on top to mix with the pasta to preserve the flavor.
  • You can also add whatever vegetables you want to the sauce. I like to add bell peppers (green ones are great because they stay crunchy), onions, or even carrots. If you add the onions, add it the same time as the garlic and cook unti lnearly translucent. If you add other hardy vegetables, add at the same time as the zucchini or slightly after.
  • I cooked it with rotini, but it's good with spaghetti or any other thicker pasta that can hold up all the veggies in the sauce.
  • A tip for those eating alone (like myself): make the sauce down to being ready to serve it and then put it into freezer bags to defrost later on. Then, you can just boil pasta and you have a healthy, fabulous dinner.

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