A bowl full of healthy veggies and pasta is the kind of meal you can eat often! It’s full of good carbs, fiber, and antioxidants and other micronutrients.
Veggies, fruits, carbs—these should be the bulk of one’s diet for best health and weight. Dishes like this are just the way to do it, and it tastes amazing! This colorful pasta dish is a great way to use all those veggies that start to appearing in the springtime—asparagus, peppers, zucchini squash, tomatoes, peas, garlic, onion, basil.
- 1 pound asparagus
- 1 pound penne or rigatoni gluten-free pasta (brown rice pastas are good)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 2 small zucchini, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- ¼ cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, or Sémillon)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- ½ cup sliced fresh basil
- ground black pepper
- about 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
The goal is for the pasta and the sauteed vegetables to be done at about the same time. Manage both a pot of water for the asparagus and the pasta, and a large skillet or other heavy pan for sauteing the vegetables. First, prep the vegetables and grate the cheese, and while you’re doing that, put a large covered pot of salted water on to boil and cook the asparagus.
Break off and discard the tough ends of the asparagus spears and cut them into 2-inch pieces. When the water is at a boil, cook the asparagus for a minute or two until vivid green and barely tender. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon and set aside. Keep the water boiling to be ready for the pasta.
In a large skillet or pan on medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic, red onions, and carrot sticks. Saute for a minute or two, stirring frequently. Stir the pasta into the pot of boiling water, and cook. Add the bell peppers and zucchini to the skillet and continue to saute for a few minutes. Add the cooked asparagus and the tomatoes and wine, which will quickly bubble and steam. Add the salt and finish cooking the vegetables until just tender. Stir in the peas and basil. If you are using frozen peas rinse them with boiling water before adding. Season with black pepper and more salt to taste.
When the pasta is al dente, drain it, reserving about ¼ cup of the cooking water.
In a large serving bowl, toss the pasta with about half of the grated cheese and the reserved cooking water. Drizzle the pasta with a little olive oil if you like. Top the pasta with the vegetables, sprinkle on the rest of the cheese, and serve right away.