Deliciously fresh tomato sauce created with the best vegetables in season and fresh herbs, all tossed with pasta for a perfect spring/summer dish.
It’s summer!!! Okay, not really. But close enough, right? This dish has summertime written all over it, and I wanted to share it with you to get you excited about eating these yummy-in-season vegetables. I know, I know. Some of you aren’t as excited as I am about vegetables, but I hope I can tempt you.
I have this delicious fresh tomato sauce that is absolutely perfect when tomatoes are nice and ripe. Tomatoes are tasting awesome right now in my neck of the woods. This method was taught to me in an Italian Cooking Class in Tuscany. It’s the real deal my friends! I bolded that on purpose so you wouldn’t miss it. Combine the delicious sauce with some fresh summer squash, corn if you’re into it, and fresh herbs. I will also give you a more “kid friendly” idea toward the bottom of this post. I can promise they won’t complain, and they will eat it. Or at least some of it.
So let’s get started with this awesomesauce. Heat up a pan with some olive oil, throw in a few cloves of garlic, and then add your fresh tomatoes. Your tomatoes will slowly cook and start to soften and open up. It turns into this garden perfect treat that is quite yummy on many dishes. Pizza, chicken parmesan, eggplant, ratatouille, and I can keep going. But let’s look what your sauce should look like:
Pretty simple. You’ll add some salt and feel like a cooking Goddess or God. I forgot to tell you that while this is happening, you should be preparing your pasta. I used a whole wheat Penne, but choose your favorite. You’ll also start to prepare your other vegetables. I used frozen organic corn (just easier for this recipe, but fresh is fine too), zucchini, and yellow squash. I put them all in a separate skillet and sautéed them for about 10 minutes. Alternatively, and I’ve done this many times, you can throw them in the oven to roast. This may be easier to avoid using another pan, or having to keep an eye out on anything. You’ll roast them in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Once the veggies, pasta, and sauce are all ready, toss them all together. Add in a ton of fresh basil, (recommendation down in the recipe), and any fresh herb you might like. I also threw in some fresh thyme. Dinner is done!!
But keep reading if you want that “kid friendly” option I told you about. My kids like cheese and it helps them to eat more vegetables. Whatever works. I personally love cheese too, but also try to not too eat it very often. It can be inflammatory for a lot of people. For my kids, I am totally fine giving it to them. Sure it’s not the healthiest thing ever, but it does make them more pleasant during this meal and more likely to eat everything. I also am a fan with pairing the unfamiliar foods with familiar foods. This is important if you’re trying to get your kids to eat more healthy and try new things. Maybe they don’t normally eat these veggies, but pairing it with some pasta and cheese can help them to realize they can enjoy them. So, I did add some cheese on half of this dish:
Mozzarella to be exact. Parmesan would be delicious too. I threw it in the oven for about 10 minutes to get the cheese to melt.
Vegetable Garden Pasta
- 16 oz your favorite pasta I used penne
- 2 lbs fresh cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- Kernels cut from 2 ears of corn or 8 oz frozen organic corn
- 2 medium sized zucchini chopped
- 1 yellow squash chopped
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese optional
- Begin by preparing your pasta according to package directions.
For the sauce: Cut your cherry tomatoes in half, or vine ripened tomatoes in quarters. Heat up a skilled to medium, add 3 tbsp olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes. Cover and cook on medium low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
For the vegetables: Heat up a large skillet on medium high heat. Add remaining olive oil and all veggies. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until veggies are cooked and soft, sprinkle with salt.
- Combine pasta, tomato sauce, and veggies and mix well. Add in fresh basil, crushed red pepper, and any other fresh herbs.
- If using cheese, place the pasta mix into a 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake for about 10 minutes (or until cheese is melted and slightly golden) at 400 degrees.