Quickie Vegetable Pasta

I make this recipe at least once a week. I’m not even sure if it counts as a recipe because it changes every time but the basic concept stays the same. We started calling it ‘Quickie Pasta’ as it’s our go to for evenings when I really can’t be bothered to make an effort and have very little food in the fridge. It’s lazy and filling and pretty delicious. It’s often something we go for after an evenings of house painting, cleaning or general busyness. I debated whether or not to write about this dish but it really does taste good, is so easy and is perfect for people who are a little wary of cooking without a recipe or lack confidence.
To serve two you’ll need:
Half a bag of pasta, about 250g – I use wholemeal and believe that it’s infinitely better
Tin of tomatoes or carton of passatta
1 onion – I prefer red. If you don’t have an onion use a clove or two of garlic instead
1tsp bouillon powder or a veg stock cube
1tsp sugar
Ground pepper
 + Vegetable options
Whatever you have in the fridge, cupboard or freezer. Now is not the time to be picky. Now is the time to use up that half a pepper or slightly sad looking mushrooms. Try:
Broccoli (especially when the flowers are in danger of turning yellow very soon)
Frozen peas
Handful of fresh spinach or rocket that’s slightly beyond wanting to eat fresh but not slimy yet
+ Optional additional flavours
Include one that you might have in the house:
A glug of balsamic vinegar
Sprinkling of oregano
Sprinkling of thyme
1/2 tsp Marmite
The basic concept of this dish is the sauce is made in the time it takes for the pasta to cook.
Fill and boil a kettle. Chop the onion and add to a dry pan. Let soften and become transparent. Add a splash of water if it starts to stick. Put the dried pasta in another pan and fill with boiled water from the kettle. Leave to simmer whilst you finish the sauce.
Now it’s time to use up all those veg. Last night I used half a pepper that was left over from another recipe, a punnet of mushrooms from last week. Chop the veg and add to the pan. If you’re using carrots, chop into little cubes so they cook quickly enough. If using broccoli, chop into thin strips. I diced the pepper and thinly sliced the mushrooms. Let the veg cook down for a minute or two and then add your tin of tomatoes or passatta. Sprinkle in your seasonings, sugar, herbs or whatever flavourings you fancy. This time I went with oregano and balsamic vinegar. If you’ve got greens, now’s the time to add them in. I used half a bag of spinach that was beyond salad-worthy, picked out a couple of slimy leaves, washed the rest and ran a knife through it a couple of times. Let the leaves wilt in whilst you drain your pasta.
Tip the drained pasta into the sauce whilst still on the heat and let everything meld together a little. Serve with a green salad if you’re organised enough to have anything fresh in the fridge, or just in a bowl by itself if not. Cover with nooch (nutritional yeast) at your discretion and bask in the smugness of a healthy, home-cooked meal from what you thought were empty cupboards.

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