Robin's Healthy Take: Pasta Primavera 3 Ways
Primavera is a pasta dish loaded with vegetables, but that's where the rules end: The noodles can be long, short, twisted or tubular and the vegetables can be anything from broccoli rabe and bell peppers to yellow squash and wild mushrooms. Today I’ve given you three of my favorite pasta-and-veggie combinations -- something for every craving.
Enjoy them all and feel free improvise by choosing any pasta shape/variety (including whole wheat and gluten-free) and any vegetable (fresh or frozen).
Cellophane Noodles with Shredded Carrots, Cabbage and Yellow Squash
This Asian-inspired version boasts clear noodles swathed in a sesame-infused, soy-ginger sauce. Cellophane (mung bean) noodles don’t need boiling water; they tenderize when soaked in hot water for 10 minutes; they’re sold with the Asian ingredients in the grocery store.
Place noodles in a large bowl; pour over hot water to cover (water can be from tap, just as hot as you can get it); let stand 10 minutes. Heat oils together in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add cabbage, carrots, yellow squash, and ginger; cook 3-5 minutes, until soft. Drain noodles; add to vegetables with soy sauce; cook 1 minute to heat through. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro; season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serves 4
Mini Bowties with Red Peppers, Mushrooms and Honey
I perked up bowties with sweet honey, tangy red peppers and earthy mushrooms. Substitute eggplant for the mushrooms if desired.
1 cup diced roasted red peppers, plus 2 tablespoons liquid from the jar
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 2 minutes; add mushrooms; cook 5 minutes, until mushrooms are tender and release liquid. Add cooked pasta, roasted peppers, liquid from jar, vinegar, and honey; cook 1 minute to heat through. Remove from heat; stir in parsley; season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serves 4
Rigatoni With Artichokes, Broccoli and Sundried Tomatoes
This more traditional take on primavera gets Italian inspiration from basil, zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts, and gets added low-calorie bulk from fresh broccoli florets.
Cook rigatoni according to package directions, adding broccoli for the last 30 seconds of cooking; drain and set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onion; cook 2 minutes, until soft. Add artichoke hearts with liquid from jar, sundried tomatoes and zucchini; bring to a simmer. Add rigatoni and broccoli; cook 1 minute to heat through. Remove from heat; stir in Parmesan and basil; season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serves 4