Is your fridge bursting with zucchinis, tomatoes and basil this summer? I know mine sure is! I can’t get enough of the clean fresh flavours that summer has to offer and this simple summer pasta is such a fantastic way to enjoy all the deliciousness of fresh summer produce. Sweet tomatoes and onions, aromatic garlic, subtle zucchini and flavour packed mushrooms — mmm! I love the easy chop and drop style of this pasta sauce. It isn’t fussy, tastes like summer, and holds beautifully in the fridge to reheat if you want to make it earlier in the week as part of your meal prep. Added bonus, the thin sauce that pools on the bottom of your bowl, made from juices of the cooked down veggies and herbs, is SO delicious mopped up with a good piece of crusty bread.
I have very fond memories of this pasta. It is such an simple dinner to make and the flavours bring me right back to my childhood. My mom used to make this pasta for us growing up. I think because it was quick to make ahead and could hold on the stove or in the fridge for us to reheat as before running out the door to skating practice or music lessons. Mom always served it with the spirally Cavatappi or Rotini noodles, so in my books that is the only way to serve this! I’ve tried with penne, or long pasta noodles and it just doesn’t have the same feel to me. You need the spirals to catch the sauce and veggies. Ridiculous I know, but if you have a favourite childhood dish in your memory, you know exactly what I’m talking about!
Oh my goodness, just typing this up is making me drool and need to make this right now! So, here’s the recipe!
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped in large pieces
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 10oz (roughly 10-12) cremini or white button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 medium zuccini, chopped into large pieces
- 1 lb tomatoes (about 4-5), chopped in large pieces
- 1tsp dry basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 lb short, spiral pasta such as Rotini, Fusilli or Cavatappi
- 10 leaves fresh basil, cut into thin strips, to garnish
- Optional: red pepper flakes & vegan parmesan to finish
- Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta
- Meanwhile, add olive oil to a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat
- Add chopped onion and saute 1-2 minutes until slightly softened
- Add your quartered mushrooms, and saute another 2-3 minutes
- Add salt and pepper, zuccini, minced garlic, tomatoes, dry basil and oregano. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes uncovered.
- Cover the pan and turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once finished, remove from heat while your pasta finishes cooking.
- Cook your pasta according to package directions. I recommend a short spiral shaped noodle for this, but pasta is pasta so really any noodle works!
- While the noodles cook, cut up your fresh basil into a chiffonade (thin strips)*
- Strain your noodles & taste the sauce for seasoning. Add extra salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve pasta with a scoop of sauce over top. Garnish with fresh basil, vegan parmesan and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if desired.
* to chiffonade, simply stack your herb leaves, roll into a cigar shape, then slice thinly