I prefer to use fresh and homemade ingredients. They taste better, they’re healthier, and they’re free from nasty preservatives.
Except most of the time sometimes, I don’t have the time to make all of the parts from scratch before I make dinner. I would like to, but it’s not realistic. For that reason, I keep some premade, commercial products in the pantry to use in a pinch.
Yesterday was one of those in a pinch days. I had a doctor’s appointment (still treating my back injury from the car crash on May 1), so we didn’t get home until almost 6 pm. Joe was working overtime, so he wasn’t home, either. Grace and I made dinner, but we got a very late start.
For these occasions, our pantry holds an assortment of commercial pasta (Ronzoni Healthy Harvest or Barilla Pasta Plus because they’re healthier than the regular stuff), our homemade canned tomato sauce, and commercial sauces (alfredo, cheese, and a refrigerated pesto).
Because we used a box of pasta and the refrigerated pesto, we threw this primavera together in under a half hour. It would have been less if Grace hadn’t tossed the snow peas so vigorously, but she got a little carried away with the washing. We had to collect them from all over the kitchen floor.
- 1 box of spaghetti, or whatever pasta you prefer
- olive oil
- 2 zucchini squash
- 1 medium onion
- 1 pint of fresh snow peas
- 2 garlic scapes (chopped) or 1 garlic clove (pressed)
- 3-5 spring onions, chopped
- ½ to 1 cup prepared pesto - if you made pesto ahead of time and froze it, you could use your own
- Feta cheese
- Prepare the veggies first. Slice the squash into rounds, and cut the rounds in half if desired. Chop the onion, and cut off the ends of the peas, removing the string. Chop the spring onions and the garlic scapes, if you're using them. If you're using a clove, you can press it directly into the pasta pan.
- Prepare pasta according to package directions, but subtract 2 minutes from the cooking time.
- In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Add in the peas and onions first and let them cook for a few minutes. Add in the squash and cook until veggies just begin to soften.
- When draining pasta, try to leave a couple of cups of cooking water in the pan. Dump the pasta back into the water in the pan and return it to the stove over medium heat. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil and stir the pasta to distribute it throughout.
- Transfer the cooked veggies to the pasta pot. Add the spring onions and garlic or garlic scapes and stir through.
- The pesto was a little tricky. I have a very large jar of refrigerated pesto from Sam's Club, and I wasn't sure how much to use. I added it a few heaping spoonfuls at a time and mixed it through the pan. I kept adding until the pasta was green enough for my taste. I think I added a little less than a cup of pesto all together.
- Just before serving, sprinkle with feta cheese. I love feta, so when I sprinkle my spaghetti with it, I probably use a ½ cup.
© 2009 – 2013, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.