Vegetables W/ Pasta
OK. So I know this is the second pasta entry in a row, but in reality, we didn’t eat them close to each other. And you can never have too many quick, easy, and healthy pasta recipes in your repertoire, right? This recipe falls into all those categories. I think I created this two, maybe three years ago. Its hard to remember because I make it quite often so it seems like I have been making it forever! I was trying out different combinations in pasta that didn’t include grilled chicken, something we always have an abundance of in our fridge during the summer. I am always grilling boneless, skinless, chicken breasts drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. I highly recommend this as we use it to make dozens of meals at a moments notice, and without heating the house. Chicken and Black Bean quesadillas, Simple Soup w/Chicken, BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Chicken Salad (recipe to be posted soon), Chicken Cesar Salad Wraps…you get the idea. While this is a very versatile ingredient, it can get a little repetitious.
The result of my experimentation yielded a light, healthy, and veeeeeerrry addictive pasta dish. We never get tired of eating it and every time I make it we always go, “Oh my goodness! This is sooo goood!” If you are ever a guest in my home between the months of March and October, expect this on the menu. While, as usual, I encourage you to experiment and add what you like, this recipe is the best combinations we have found. Even though I could change it up, I don’t. The only change is that I make it with asparagus in the spring and summer, instead of squash. We found a winner and I don’t want to mess with perfection! 🙂 Vegetables with Pasta-Recipe updated 10/13
I call this veggies with pasta because I usually try to make it a 2-1 ratio. Its healthier, lighter, and… well…prettier! Any small pasta shape is good. You want the pasta and bites of vegetable all about the same size. Bow ties, rotini, penne, and penne rigate work the best. This serves four, but it is really easy to double or simply keep the recipe the same but add 3/4 of a pound of pasta instead of only a half. Any leftovers taste great the next day, no need to reheat.
1/2 lb bite sized pasta cooked according to package directions
2 sweet Italian turkey sausage links
1 small butternut squash or 1/2 large, peeled, seeded and cut into bite sized chunks
1 large onions, sliced into half circles
2 medium zucchini, cut into bite sized chunks
8 oz portabello mushrooms, sliced (feel free to use any mushrooms available)
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
Toss the squash and onions with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast at 425 for 15 -20 minutes, or until squash is soft when pierced with a fork and onions are caramelized. Meanwhile, remove the sausage from the casing and brown in a skillet over med heat, crumbling as you cook it. If you use turkey sausage, you won’t have to drain the meat, but if you use pork Italian sausage, you may need to remove the fat. Place the sausage in a large serving bowl. Put the skillet back on the stove (no need to clean it) and add the mushrooms. Saute in the leftover fat from the sausage, adding a little olive oil of the pan is dry. Don’t crowd the mushrooms or they will steam instead of brown. Just a few minutes till they are cooked, but still firm in the middle, and add them to the bowl with the meat. Next add the zucchini. A little olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, med to med high heat for 3 minutes or so just till they get some color on them. We don’t want anything to be mushy. Add to the serving bowl. Add the pasta and the roasted squash and onions. Toss ingredients together. Add cheese and toss gently and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed and a drizzle of olive oil if it is dry.