15-Minute Meal: Red Pasta Primavera
A variety of veggies give red sauce a taste of spring.
- 1 pound penne pasta or hot pepper penne or whole wheat penne
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 red Fresno chili pepper, finely chopped or thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 small, firm zucchini
- 1 small carrot
- 1 small red bell pepper
- 1 small bunch spring onions or scallions
- 1 can diced Italian tomatoes (15 ounces)
- Pecorino cheese, for grating
- A handful of basil leaves, finely chopped
- A small handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
- A small handful of parsley, finely chopped
- Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the salt and pasta.
- Heat the EVOO, about four turns of the pan, over medium heat. Finely chop or thinly slice the Fresno chili pepper and add it to EVOO. Grate the garlic with a handheld grater into the EVOO and stir. Finely chop or finely dice the zucchini and add it to the pan. Peel and finely chop the carrot, seed and finely chop the pepper and chop the whites of the spring onions; adding each vegetable to the pan as you work. Stir and season the vegetables with salt and pepper and raise the heat a bit. Cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes, basil and the greens of the scallions and bring to a bubble. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes more as the pasta cooks.
- Cook the pasta to al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking water, then drain and toss the pasta with the sauce. Add a little of the starchy water, if necessary, to thin the sauce. Adjust the salt and pepper, to taste, then transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with cheese and herbs.