Penne with Summer Vegetables.

Pasta-with-Summer-Vegetables-(5147)

Perhaps it is too early to talk about summer, especially because I’m writing this on a chilly day. Early days indeed. It will soon be here. That’s what I keep telling myself. To me, summer is about long walks, blue sky, fresh good food and minimal time in the kitchen. That’s why I think of pasta as fast food – not necessarily the unhealthy kind either. Though it could easily be also! I must confess though that these days I prefer whole wheat pasta. I love white pasta too and wish I could eat it more often. I have discovered the half whole wheat half white type during these past few months and I like to keep this in stock in my pantry for a quick supper solution. Pasta recipes are so versatile that you can use whatever you like. This recipe serves up to 4 people, depending on how hungry you all are. The sauce is a bit spicy so adjust the chilli according to taste. I know that some people cannot eat chilli due to allergies, so substitute it with pepper instead. For this simple recipe you need:

  • 500g penne rigate
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 courgettes, diced
  • 1 green or red pepper, diced
  •  400g polpa di pomodoro (or chopped fresh tomatoes)
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (concentrate)
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  2. In a shallow pan, but big enough to hold the pasta for later, pour in the olive oil, and throw in a small piece of onion. When it starts to sizzle add the onions and garlic. After a few minutes add the courgettes and diced pepper. Toss the vegetables together and listen to the sound of the pan. Yummy.
  3. Then add the polpa di pomodoro, chilli flakes, paprika, brown sugar and tomato paste. If you have fresh tomatoes please use those instead. I rarely find good tomatoes where I live, even in summer, which is such a pity!
  4. Leave the sauce to simmer and taste it for seasoning. Add pepper if necessary. When the pasta is cooked to your liking, toss it well in the sauce. I find that penne rigate are one of the better kinds to use here. The sauce will adhere better to the pasta. But again – this is only a guide!

Grab a plate, help yourself and eat this preferably outside underneath the Sun. Enjoy!

Rob x

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