Today, I am sharing one of my dinner staples. My family participates in meatless Monday dinners, and this recipe is served once or twice a month on a Monday in my house. This recipe also makes a really great side dish. This pasta recipe is super clean, although from time to time, I dirty it up a little bit by topping it with a little Parmesan cheese. This dish is also packed full of veggies, most of them green. I’ve had several people ask me for this recipe, it is such a crowd- pleaser. Even my picky two year old loves this, and she is usually skeptical of all things green.
- 3 cups fresh tomato (diced, or if they are a small variety, like grape, whole)
- 2 cups broccoli, chopped
- 1 cup asparagus, sliced into one inch pieces
- 2 zucchini, cut into 1/8 in rounds
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 13 ounce package of 100% whole wheat penne pasta
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth or stock
- 4 cups of greens (kale, spinach, arugula are all great- I used a blend of spinach and kale)
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- 6 eggs, poached or pan fried (optional)
- salt to taste +1 tbsp
- pepper to taste
Additional topping suggestion: Toasted Pine Nuts, Parmesan Cheese, (although to keep it truly clean I often omit cheese).
Bring 4 quarts of water to boil. Add 1 tbsp salt to boiling water- Do not add noodles until your sauce has been cooking for about 7 minutes. In a large saute pan, add 3 tbsp olive oil, tomato, broccoli, asparagus, zuchinni, onion and garlic. Saute over medium heat for 15 minutes. While your sauce is cooking, add your penne noodles to the boiling water. Cook for about 8 minutes, your noodle should be slightly firm still. Next, use a hand held mesh strainer to remove your noodles and place them directly in to the sauce. If you don’t have one, strain your noodles, but quickly add them to the sauce. NEVER RINSE YOUR NOODLES, this removes the starch that binds the sauce to your noodles. Next add 1/4 cup vegetable stock, then your greens, oregano, parsley, and basil. Stir together until greens are wilted- about 3 minutes. Your noodles will finish cooking in the sauce during this process. Top with a poached or pan fried egg (optional), but oh, so delicious.