Penne al Fresco

By , September 24, 2012 00:13

Farmer’s markets. I’m currently in rehab for them. When I hear that there is a farmer’s market going on, I get all cracked out on the idea of fresh vegetables in my food. It all started with the dreaded low iodine diet I had to endure as a thyroid cancer survivor. You basically cannot eat anything that has been manufactured or processed since most manufacturers use salt or seaweed byproducts for preservation. Everything has to be fresh. I learned how to get creative with the small list of things that I was allowed to eat. The farmer’s market was one of my only saviors while on that diet. Here’s one of my favorite recipes that is quick, easy, and a fairly healthy option for a pasta dish.

  • 1lb Penne
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced (I had purchased beefsteak at the market, but 6 Romas will do)
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced (I leave the skins on for this one to add color)
  • 1 medium summer squash diced
  • 1/2 large eggplant diced
  • 1/2 large eggplant sliced
  • 2C whole milk mozzarella
  • 4T olive oil
  • 1 1/2T Italian seasoning
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

In a large stockpot, bring about 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add penne and cook about 11 mins to al dente.

While pasta is cooking, in a large bowl, combine all diced veggies. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle seasonings over and toss again to evenly coat veggies.

Take the sliced eggplant and cover with mozzarella. Place under the broiler for about 5-7 mins, or until slightly brown and bubbly on top.

Heat a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add veggies. When the eggplant is tender(about 5-7mins), add garlic and cook for about 2 mins more. Then take off the heat.

At this time, the pasta should be drained. DO NOT RINSE THE PASTA!!! This will remove any of the starchy goodness that helps hold onto the sauce!!! Add the pasta to the veggie mixture and toss to combine, or plate the pasta and serve with veggies over it. I usually serve this by roasting the rest of the fresh garlic and spreading it over some toasted Italian bread, but last time, I just went with the eggplant. You can also mix the pasta and veggies and put in a baking dish, cover with cheese and broil until bubbly brown. It’s all good!!

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