Pasta with Exotic Vegetables

The name of this dish may sound familiar to some but not to the others. Recently I went to India and I learned that the colour bell pepper, broccoli, etc are exotic vegetables as they are rare and very expensive vegetable in India. I live in Canada so I have easy access of all the vegetables I am using in this recipe. You can replace these with any vegetable of your choice like, green pepper (capsicum), onion, roasted tomato, sun dried tomato, etc. You may have seen my recent post on do’s and don’ts of making paste which will help in making perfect pasta every time.

I make pasta  when my husband is not eating home as he is not a fan of it, but I really like it.  Since I am a vegetarian, I add different vegetables which I have in my refrigerator at the time I cook. Here is how I made it.

This recipe serves 2 people or may be one…lol

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

1 1/2 cup dry pasta (I am using gluten-free pasta)
2 cup pasta sauce or 5-6 big blanched tomato
2-3 garlic cloves sliced thinly
1 colour bell pepper cut in slices
7-8 asparagus cut in 2 inch length
7-8 snow peas – remove string and cut in half
1 broccoli head florets separated
10-12 spinach leaves roughly chopped
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp dry oregano
Fresh or dry basil
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder
Oil for cooking
1 cup grated mozzarella
Pickled black olives, cheese and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for garnishing

1. Clean and chop all the vegetables as desire.

2. You can use store-bought pasta sauce, I am using can of Italian tomato. If you don’t have access to the ready tomato sauce, blanch tomato in hot water for a minutes, then remove the skin and break with hand.

3. Heat water with handful of salt in a big pot. Add pasta to boiling water and cook to al-dente (1-2 minute less than package direction). Keep 2 cups of pasta water on side and then drain pasta. Never add oil to pasta. Never rinse the pasta with cold water.

4. In a wide pan, add 2 tbsp oil. When oil is slightly hot, reduce the heat. Then add crushed chili flakes and garlic, saute for few seconds. Then add chopped pepper and saute for 1 minute. Add pasta sauce, oregano, dry basil and cook on medium heat 4-5 minute. During this time, you can add 1 to 1&1/2 cup of pasta water, salt, dry basil and black pepper powder. Then add chopped vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, snow peas and spinach. Cook on low to medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Then add pasta and finish cooking pasta in sauce on a low heat (1-2 mins). Remember not to over cook it. Add pasta water if pasta feels dry. Turn off the heat and then add grated cheese and fresh basil (optional). Mix well. Keeps some pasta water on side in case you need it.

5. Serve hot pasta in a bowl. Garnish with olives, more cheese and dig in 😛 😛 .

Here is the slightly different version where I have added roasted cherry tomatoes to the pasta. When you eat the pasta, tomato will burst in your mouth 😛

Hope you will try cooking this pasta dish. I am sure you will love it too! Let me know if you have any questions regarding the dish.

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Author: Bhavna's Food Journey

Welcome to Bhavna's food journey! Join me in cooking easy, simple, healthy and delicious food. I am a mother of two adult children and understand the fast life of today's adult. Hope you will enjoy and try my recipes. Looking forward to hearing from you!!

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