Vegetable Pasta with Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Want to know my very favorite pasta dish ever? I mean EVER??

Vegetable Pasta with Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette. Trust me, you’ll want to add this quick & easy weeknight meal into your summer-dinner rotation ASAP!

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I used to make this dish all. the. time. when I got my first apartment in Minneapolis after college. Usually on Thursday nights when my fridge was packed with fresh produce from the the bustling downtown Farmer’s Market I would visit earlier in the afternoon. Trust me, there’s something about the smell of garlic, onions and fresh veggies sautéing in olive oil that’s so comforting, homey and delicious – not to mention so easy to make!

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I always start with fresh, in-season veggies and I never measure anything. You don’t need too either. Just add what looks good to you. Trust me – it’ll turn out great!

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Tonight I started by sautéing minced onion in olive oil on medium heat. When the onions were soft I added yellow squash, then asparagus & broccoli crowns, generously seasoning each layer of veggies with salt & pepper along the way.

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Trust me – seasoning each layer, rather than just adding salt & pepper in at the end, really makes a difference!

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When all the veggies were soft and seasoned, I added a big handful of fresh spinach on top, let it wilt, then finished up by adding chopped garlic, sun dried tomatoes, a serving of cooked pasta and some grape tomatoes into the hot pan.

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Trust me when I tell you that when that fresh garlic hits the hot pan, it is PURE MAGIC!

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Finally I whipped up the easiest homemade vinaigrette ever. I’m not even sure you can call it a vinaigrette… It’s just two ingredients and there’s no whisking involved. But trust me, it’s the perfect simple sauce for this dish.

For one bowl of Vegetable Pasta, drizzle on 1/2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Flavored, if you’ve got it!

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Whooooo – I wish you had smell-o-net! I love a good sauce with tons of flavor-packed ingredients as much as the next gal, but the simple tastes of olive oil, salt & pepper, with a dash of balsamic vinaigrette, is sooooo satisfying. You’ve just got to trust me on this one!

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I also love this dish because I need a big plate of food for dinner (which is why I always use salad-sized plates – it makes it look like you’ve got a ton more food than on an entree-sized one!) but you can’t really eat a lot of pasta without getting a TON of calories. By upping the girth of the bowl with fresh veggies, you get a huge bang for your buck! :D

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So there you have it. My very favorite pasta dish ever. Trust me, you’ll love it. :)

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This evening I’m going to go ahead and trust Claire Robinson of Five Ingredient Fix on the Food Network, that 5 measly ingredients – bananas, butter, flour, agave nectar & an egg – will yield amazingly scrumptious Brown Butter Banana Muffins.

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Saw her makin’ ‘em on tv while on the treadmill after work and it took all my willpower not to run right off the end and straight home to make these babies! I’ll report back tomorrow on how they taste… ;)

Have a good night!

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What’s your very favorite kind of meal to make?

I love to make Asian & pasta dishes. Preferably Asian pasta dishes. :)

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