Feel free to substitute any of the vegetables with other vegetables that you have on hand. This recipe is very versatile! Add tougher vegetables (like carrots) to the pan along with the onion; add medium-textured vegetables (like summer squash) to the pan in the step where the zucchini is added; and add more delicate vegetables (like kale) at the end, when you add the pasta to the skillet.
½ pound fusilli or penne pasta
2 Tbs. olive oil
½ onion, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch strips
1 medium zucchini or summer squash, quartered lengthwise and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
½ pound eggplant, sliced into pieces the same size as the zucchini
1 bell pepper, quartered, seeded, and cut into thin strips
1 clove garlic, minced
½ c. tomato sauce*
1 tsp. Italian seasoning (or ¼ tsp. thyme, ¼ tsp. oregano, and ½ tsp. basil)
⅛ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
salt, to taste
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved (or equivalent amount of larger tomatoes, diced)
6 basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano (optional)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare the vegetables as indicated while the water is heating. Once boiling, add the pasta to the water and cook according to package instructions.
While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil to the pan, then add the zucchini, eggplant, and bell pepper and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring once or twice. Add the tomato sauce and ½ c. of the pasta cooking water to the pan and stir to mix well. Stir in the Italian seasoning and the black pepper. Turn off the heat but keep skillet on the burner.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the skillet with the vegetables. Add salt to taste. Stir in the cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh oregano (if using). Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan (if using).
*Note: If using unseasoned canned tomato sauce (vs. a prepared marinara sauce), you may want to add more Italian seasoning or fresh herbs.
Recipe adapted from: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/moms_pasta_primavera/