I've been pretty slack with cooking lately, but last Friday I suddenly had a craving for something homemade. It had to be quick and easy since I was staaarving after work and it had to be cheap enough to make up a big batch to last a couple meals. Of course, my mind thinks of pasta first. I made it vegetarian so I didn't have to fuss over any meat, which I'm not particulary good at cooking. I also cheated and used a chunky basil and cashew dip as the sauce instead of making proper pesto. This is a sneaky tip I've picked up over the last few years of full time work and living alone. To make things even speedier, I used an electric grill to cook the vegetables. That appliance would be one of the best hand-me-downs my friends have given me when they moved away. The end result was really easy, yummy, filling and perfect for a night in with a bottle of wine... :)
Speedy Vegetable Pasta
- 1 Red Capsicum (cut into strips)
- 2 Zucchinis (cut into 1cm thick semi circles)
- 1/2 cup of Kalamata Olives (cut in half)
- 1/2 cup of Sundried Tomatoes (cut into strips)
- 500g Spaghetti
- 1/2 Lemon
- 300g (2 tubs) of Chunky Basil and Cashew dip
- 75g Shredded Parmesan
1. In a large pot, boil water with salt and oil to cook pasta.
2. Season the capsicums and zucchinis with salt and cook on the grill until lightly coloured.
3. While vegetables are cooking, cook the pasta according to the packets instructions.
4. Once the pasta's ready, pour out the water leaving about 1 cup behind. This will make it easier to toss the pasta ingredients together.
5. Add the cooked capsicum, zucchini, olives, sundried tomatoes, juice of half a lemon, parmesan and chunky dip into the pasta.
6. Mix together well. I always use salad serving spoons to mix because tongs always rip and tear the soft pasta.
The chunky dip should add enough salt and oil into the pasta, but have a taste and season to your liking. I also added a twist of black pepper.
I will definately make this again because it was so simple and pretty tasty. It's rich enough for a winter meal, but the lemon juice lightens it and stops you from feeling heavy and sluggish afterwards.
Do you guys have any sneaky cheats for quick yet satisfying meals?