This month is all about things that make me happy and one thing that I love to do is eat. More specifically, I love to eat Italian food. Having been away from home for more than a decade, the smell of garlic and tomatoes now reminds me of home. Especially this time of year…the summer spectacular of the Italian Festival in downtown Wheeling. Mmmmm I can just taste the stromboli, fried veggies.
My part of Texas doesn’t have a ton of Italian food so my Texas family took me to a fabulous Italian restaurant last year for my birthday. I was in heaven! Otherwise, I am stuck with my own Italian cooking, which is quite sad. Typically I make my boring clean-eating pasta as a turkey ragu – lots of Italian-spiced ground turkey with some green pepper and onion thrown in. I usually use Classico sauce as a base and try to fancy it up with some added spices. Plus, I like to use the jars as drinking glasses or for projects later.
But last week we had one incredible tomato harvest so I was itching to use these beauties and to try something new. I’ve made my own sauce before and I do like my homemade tomato sauce chunky, with lots of veggies squished into a lovely gravy.
This time though, I wanted to use lots of vegetables and a lighter sauce. It is so unbelievably hot in Texas this summer! I already downed an iced-cold limoncello on my way home from work and wanted some light Italian goodness in my belly, pronto! I think I have finally mastered a light, healthy pasta! I cannot get enough of this pasta dish.
Pasta Primavera with Turkey Meatballs
- pasta, I like a low-glycemic linguini variety
- Italian style turkey meatballs, 10-12
- 6-7 Roma tomatoes
- crookneck yellow squash
- carrot, shredded
- small yellow onion, diced
- garlic, 4-5 cloves, crushed
- fresh basil, approximately 10 leaves
- olive oil
- chicken broth, small can
- blend of Romano, Asiago and Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon
- Cook pasta as directed on package
- In a skillet, heat olive oil, add in diced onion and garlic, cook on low heat for one minute
- Add in half the can of the chicken broth and shredded carrots, let cook for one minute
- Add a pinch of salt, pepper and Italian seasoning
- Cut zucchini and yellow squash into chunks, add to skillet with broccoli tops and let cook for approximately 3-5 minutes, feel free to add more olive oil here!
- Meanwhile, cook the meatballs as directed on package
- Cut/squish Roma tomatoes and tear basil leaves, add to skillet and cook for another few minutes or until your veggies have soaked in all of the flavors
- Grab your limoncello and plate your food with a bit of pasta, topped with the veggie mix and sprinkle lots of cheese on top. Also, I won’t fight you if you drizzle more olive oil on top…
Of course, I’m a carnivore so I added some delicious pre-made meatballs (I love you, HEB!) to my pasta primavera. I am in love with this recipe. I’ve tried to make a light olive oil-based past a before and it really lacked flavor and thickness. I think the key to this recipe is that chicken broth, it adds much needed flavor. Yum!