This recipe is a devious attempt to get you to eat your vegetables. Except, now that I’ve told you, I guess it’s no longer devious. Shall we call it creative? Artful? Subtle? I don’t know. I just know that vegetables can be boring and this is yummy. Even though it has vegetables in it.
So the secret to making veggie pasta that doesn’t taste like a plate of noodles being invaded by yucky vegetables is to cut the veggies into itty bitty pieces. And mix it with a flavorful sauce. Voila! Rich, saucy pasta … and, oh, wait … are there vegetables in here?
Is Pasta Fattening?
If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that, while I think whole-grain pasta is a good food choice for healthy weight loss, I am most definitely NOT a fan of cardboard-tasting whole-grain pasta.
Tinkyada pasta to the rescue! This stuff is the best tasting, whole-grain (dried) pasta I have ever had. No, let me rephrase that. Tinkyada pasta is the best tasting pasta, whole-grain or not. I’ve tried numerous brown rice pastas and other whole-grain pastas, and Tinkyada wins, hands-down.
At a weight loss class I taught a few years ago, I made two pots of soup – each with identical ingredients in them, except in one pot I used regular white pasta, and in the other I used Tinkyada Brown Rice pasta. I served each class participant two cups of soup, but I didn’t tell them which was which. Then I took a survey asking the participants which pasta/soup they liked best. Forty-eight out of 49 said they couldn’t tell the difference, and the one person who said she could tell the difference responded she liked soup #2 (the one with Tinkyada pasta) best!
(With all this Tinkyada praising, I thought I should mention I’m not associated with Tinkyada in any way. I just like their pasta, and I think it’s an excellent choice for weight loss.)
Very Veggie Pasta
Yield 4 servings
This simple pasta dish features fiber-rich vegetables and delicious whole-grain (but not cardboard-tasting) pasta. Delicious! (I use my veggie chopper to cut the veggies small. Saves a lot of time.)
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 1 medium carrot, shredded or diced small (I use my veggie chopper to cut the veggies small. Saves a lot of time.)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups very small cauliflower florets (about 1/2 head)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup water or broth
- 12 ounces pasta (I use Tinkyada sprial pasta or Tinkyada spaghetti)
- 3 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon raw sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup frozen petit peas
- olives - optional
- In a large soup pan, sauté onion in oil over medium heat until they begin to look translucent, about 8 minutes. If using diced carrots, saute them along with onions. If using shredded carrots, wait to add them in step #2. Meanwhile, start water for pasta.
- Add cauliflower and garlic. If using shredded carrots, add them now. Sauté for 1 to 2 additional minutes.
- Stir in seasonings. (See note.)
- Increase heat to medium-high and add 3/4 cup water or broth, cover, and cook until cauliflower is tender, but not mushy – about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.
- Stir in tomatoes or tomato sauce, raw sugar, and fresh parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. (See note)
- (At this point, sauce can be cooked longer if you prefer your vegetables to be softer.)
- Add peas and cook until heated – about 2 minutes. Serve hot.
Different varieties of crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce come seasoned differently. If using tomato sauce, cut seasonings in half. If using crushed tomatoes, do a taste test at step 6 and adjust seasonings if desired.