Vegan Garden Veggie Penne Pasta

Substitute any and all veggies for what is available on hand. It is best to “eat the rainbow” and have as much variety in veggies, color, and texture, to offer a more enjoyable and nutritious dish. Vegetables add so much of their own flavor that the seasoning can be kept to a minimum. These recipes are meant to simply give you some inspiration for great vegan meal options. Adjust as desired! Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Zucchini squash
  • Yellow squash
  • Red bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Black Olives
  • Whole wheat penne pasta
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • seasoning: crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, oregano
  • optional add-ons: marinara sauce, plant-based bolognese sauce (available at Trader Joe’s), veggie burger, veggie meatballs or sausage, side of bruschetta, the options are endless!

Steps

  1. Cook penne pasta (bring salted water to boil, add 2 1/2c dry penne, cook until al dente)
  2. Cut vegetables. I cut vegetables into varying shapes so that there is added texture to the dish – e.g. strips of zucchini, quartered yellow squash, broccoli florets, thin strips bell pepper, minced garlic, sliced olives (sliced jalapeños can also be added) – should yield about 2 1/2c sqashes combined, 1 1/2c broccoli, 1/2c bell pepper + 1/4c olives (I purchase them pre-sliced) — adjust portions as desired; I add more of my favorite veggies or more of whatever I have available
  3. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a nonstick pan on medium heat. Add the zucchini and yellow squash first. Cook for 4 minutes. Add bell peppers. Cook another 3 minutes. Add broccoli (Optional: you can blanch the broccoli prior to adding it — simply place broccoli in a colander, rinse with cool water, pour boiling water over the broccoli, rinse again with cool water — this brings out flavor and color, and it essentially cooks the broccoli immediately). Add 1 Tbsp minced garlic and 1/4c sliced olives. Mix together. Turn down to med-low heat.
  4. Season with 1/2 tsp pepper, 2 tsp oregano, 2 tsp crushed red pepper, 1/4 tsp salt
  5. Add cooked pasta and 1/4c pasta water. Mix. Allow pasta water to boil off – it will mix with some of the spices an thicken it. Optional step is to add 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast which adds some flavor and cheesy thickness to the mix.

EXTRAS

Optional sauce addition: This pasta is great and light with just olive oil but you can add a sauce. Trader Joe’s vegan bolognese sauce is a great option. Regular marinara is also an option (add 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp chili powder, and 1/4 tsp garlic powder to add flavor to plain bottled marinara sauce).

Optional toppings: This pasta is packed with veggies and protein. For a heavier meal, add a veggie burger (Dr. Praeger’s has great plant-based burgers, or a homemade veggie burger is even better) or serve with side of bruschetta or some potatoes (baked potato, seasoned potato, fries, etc)

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