Pasta Primavera

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.

tomatoBut 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
  • zucchini
  • crookneck yellow squash
  • carrot, shredded
  • broccoli
  • 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

pastaDirections

  1. Cook pasta as directed on package
  2. In a skillet, heat olive oil, add in diced onion and garlic, cook on low heat for one minute
  3. Add in half the can of the chicken broth and shredded carrots, let cook for one minute
  4. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and Italian seasoning
  5. 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!
  6. Meanwhile, cook the meatballs as directed on package
  7. 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
  8. 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!

bon appetit!

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