After a trip to the farmers market (or a walk through your own garden), you may come back to the kitchen with a bounty of beautiful, bright, and ready to use vegetables. Make these vegetables the focal point of this pasta dish. I've provided a template here, but experiment with other vegetables you may bring home - it's a recommendation I give to the moms competing in this year's Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute's My Heart Challenge: Moms Edition. You can also substitute different grains, cheeses, and nuts to make your own unique dish.
- 1 lb. orzo pasta (or other small pasta)
- 2 zucchini, chopped
- 1 yellow squash, chopped
- 1 eggplant, chopped (skin may be loft on or peeled according to your preference)
- 1 large yellow onion (or 2 smaller), chopped
- 2 large handfuls cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 T pine nuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped Parmesan cheese
- 2 T + 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta - cook to al-dente and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
- While the water comes to a boil, heat a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 T of the olive oil, then add the chopped onion. Saute until the onion is translucent (5-7 minutes). Add the halved tomatoes and garlic, stir to combine and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.
- In a small dry skillet or on a baking sheet, toast the pine nuts until fragrant. They roast quickly, so take care not to burn them. When lightly golden, set aside.
- Combine the zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant with the tomato and onion mixture. Cook until the eggplant is tender (about 5 minutes).
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid (pasta water), and veggie mixture. Top with the extra 1 T olive oil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, salt and pepper.
- Can be served hot or cold.