Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rasta Pasta with Tortellini

I love pasta.  I could eat it about every night and not tire of it.  My mom is Italian which makes me half Italian, and I embrace this part of my heritage unabashedly.  I often make my own versions of pasta dishes from no recipe, but from my own instincts.  This usually doesn't fail me.  The only problem with this "fly by the seat of my pants" cooking method is I rarely can repeat a recipe that is a real winner.

This recipe is one of those inspiration dishes I made pretty early on in my marriage and it was so simple, it was easy to remember.  It was named by my husband and he asks for it regularly.  I love it because it is quick, very healthy and really delicious!  Seriously, it comes together in 30 minutes.   I often make it with regular pasta, and have grown to prefer it with that actually.  But this time I made it with tortellini.  I hope you try and like it!


  • 1 lb cooked pasta
  •  1 TBSP olive oil plus some for finshing
  • 1/2 to 1 finely chopped red onion (your taste)
  • 1 large or 2 small unpeeled grated zucchini (cut out seeds if really large)
  • 2-3 large peeled grated carrots
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 can diced tomato or 3 fresh diced vine ripened tomatoes (I have even used grape tomatoes)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful of  basil or parsley chopped

In a large skillet over med high heat place oil and red onion.  Cook until tender and beginning to brown 5-10 min.  Add minced garlic and cook another 30 sec to 1 min until fragrant.  Add zucchini and carrot and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes.  (I usually salt here).  Add tomatoes and cook another 5 min, letting flavors meld, just enough to warm tomatoes through and yield some of their juices to make it more saucy.  Add basil or parsley.

Toss the pasta with some olive oil and top with fresh veggie chunky sauce.  Top with a drizzle of olive oil if you wish and definitely some parmesan cheese.  Even my kids eat this and it is full of veggies.  YUM! 

*HINT* Make sure you add salt to your pasta water when cooking you pasta!  It brings so much more flavor to the pasta.  (1-2 tsp)

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