Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Veggie Spaghetti

Some of my favorite recipes are ones found on the “back of the box.” Come to think of it, two of those favorites -— for baked macaroni and cheese and lasagna — are both from Mueller’s. And that’s where I got this week’s recipe: from the back of a Mueller’s box.

I was making a stir-fry dish recently, using whole grain spaghetti, and I spotted the recipe for veggie spaghetti on the back of the box. The pretty picture made my mouth water. I’m a pushover for a new pasta recipe, and this meat-free recipe looked both easy and healthy.

So I kept the spaghetti box on the counter where I could see it because I didn’t want to forgot to make it. I’m so bad about clipping a recipe and never making it!

I made it for my husband and me for lunch one day last week, and we both really liked it.

I did make a few minor changes to the recipe. Instead of asparagus, I used two small zucchinis, sliced, and I added a few of my chopped fresh basil leaves to the simmering sauce. I also used shaved Parmesan cheese instead of grated; I like the way it melts when sprinkled on a bed of hot pasta!

Veggie spaghetti is simple to make. After cutting and sauteeing the vegetables, I let my pasta water come to a boil and the pasta cook while the easy tomato sauce simmered. In less than 30 minutes, Reggie and I were enjoying a hot meal for lunch and had plenty leftover for the next day. This would be a good dish to make on the weekend to keep in the refrigerator for quick weekday lunches. Just warm up a serving and sprinkle on the shaved Parmesan, and you have a healthy and filling midday meal. We’ve also decided we really like this recipe cold!

Veggie Spaghetti
  • 1 box (13.25 oz) whole grain spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large skillet, cook peppers, onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until tender, or about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
Cook pasta according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, add to simmering sauce, asparagus, mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste.

Combine pasta and sauce and toss with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.


Notes: I used two small, sliced zucchinis instead of asparagus. I added them towards the end of my sauteeing along with the garlic, and they also simmered in the pot. I also added some fresh basil to the simmering sauce and used shaved Parmesan cheese instead of grated. We waited to add the cheese to our individual serving; that works better if you know you are going to have leftovers.

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