Dinner Ideas

Vegetarian Italian Wheat Spaghetti

March 17, 2015

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So in my family, we have kind of designated Monday as Meatless Mondays for the last few months.  I don’t have a really good reason why, but we tried for a while and it just kind of stuck.  Don’t get me wrong, I always love me some perfectly cooked protein, but that can get kind of spendy.  Especially if you have meat every single night of the week.  Not only that, but I believe that it’s good for your body to take a break from meat every once in a while.  One last reason is that not having meat in the meal usually means a quicker meal prep, which for us on Mondays is a must.

We have been making this simple pasta dish for years and it has slowly evolved with new flavors and dimensions which I love.  It’s all the basic good ingredients like onions, peppers, olives, sun dried tomatoes, and basil that keep this dish simple and classic, yet full of flavor.  And whole wheat pasta has a surprising amount of protein, too!

So let’s get started:  Pull out a deeper dished sautee pan and a pot to boil the pasta in.  Cook your pasta according to package directions.  You will want to salt the water more than usual since this pasta doesn’t really have a “sauce”.  This helps season the dish.  You will also want to not completely cook the pasta since it will absorb more liquid when you put it in with the veggies in the sauce pan.  

While the pasta is cooking, heat your sautee pan on medium heat with the olive oil.  Chop all your veggies and when your pan is warm, put them all in the pan with all the seasonings and basil and sautee for a few minutes until the peppers and onions start to get soft.  

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When your pasta is about done, scoop out about 1/3 cup of the pasta water and put it in the veggie pan and simmer.  Drain the water off the pasta and dump it in the sautee pan and toss it with the veggies until everything is coated and mixed together.  Take off the heat and let it sit for about 5 minutes.  Toss one more time before serving and top with Parmesan cheese.

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Vegetarian Italian Wheat Spaghetti
Serves 4
Macros: Calories 356; Fat 13; Carbs 43; Protein 13. Includes 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese for each serving
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Ingredients
  1. 8 oz whole wheat spaghetti
  2. 2 T olive oil
  3. 12 calamata olives
  4. 1 oz sun dried tomatoes ( dried, not in oil)
  5. 3 oz baby bella mushrooms
  6. 1/2 C sliced sweet peppers
  7. 1/2 C sliced white onions
  8. 1 T minced garlic
  9. 2-3 T minced fresh basil
  10. 1 t dried oregano
  11. 1-2 tsp coarse kosher salt
  12. fresh ground pepper
  13. 1/4 C Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook your pasta according to package directions. You will want to salt the water more than usual since this pasta doesn't really have a "sauce". This helps season the dish. You will also want to not completely cook the pasta since it will absorb more liquid when you put it in with the veggies in the sauce pan.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat your sautee pan on medium heat with the olive oil.
  3. Chop all your veggies and when your pan is warm, put them all in the pan with all the seasonings and basil and sautee for a few minutes until the peppers and onions start to get soft.
  4. When your pasta is about done, scoop out about 1/3 cup of the pasta water and put it in the veggie pan and simmer.
  5. Drain the water off the pasta and dump it in the sautee pan and toss it with the veggies until everything is coated and mixed together.
  6. Take off the heat and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
  7. Toss one more time before serving and top with Parmesan cheese.
Notes
  1. I promise you if you use fresh basil (and oregano if you want) you will love it so much more! Fresh herbs really do make a big difference.
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