How to Use Up All That Summer Produce to Make the Best Pasta Yet
While those long, extra hot, summertime nights can make even the best of us seriously consider if a bowl of ice cream is an acceptable dinner, a fresh and healthy meal need not be a dreaded, effort-fueled duty. In fact, with a few quick techniques, you can quickly transform a mountain of nutrient-rich vegetables into a winning pasta dish.
To start, you’ll need a pride-inducingly large, “yes, of course I eat this well,” basketful of fresh vegetables—an easy thing to amass if you’re visiting a farmer’s market, or have a garden plot that’s in prime production mode. What’s our secret to using so much produce in pasta? Blend some vegetables down into a flavorful sauce, and use even more chopped up varieties to mix up with the pasta itself, for texture.
But when it comes to healthy, we’re not stopping there. Believe it or not, goji berries (one of our favorite antioxidant-rich, longevity-promoting, brain-boosting sweet superfruits) make a fantastic addition to summer vegetable recipes by adding a welcome, subtle sweetness (and clearly loads of benefits, too). We also choose gluten-free, legume-based pasta to create a protein-rich base that ensures every bite is surprisingly balanced in macronutrients. Not an empty calorie in sight!
And the best part is, this cooking endeavor isn’t just easy, it’s also highly versatile. While you’ll want to stick to the basic parameters of the superfood tomato sauce, the vegetables you use in the remainder of the dish are open for all kinds of creative swaps. So whether you need to appease picky eaters, want to inspire yourself to try something new, or wish to simply use up what’s in the fridge, make it a pasta night with our bulletproof Farmer’s Market Fusilli.
WATCH HOW WE MAKE OUR FARMER’S MARKET FUSILLI:
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FARMER’S MARKET FUSILLI PREP TIPS:
Here's how to upgrade your pasta dish even further:
Use a high-protein pasta. Pasta no longer needs to be the epicenter of empty calories on your plate! Instead of using traditional flour, pasta varieties made out of legumes or even superfoods can effortlessly transform your meal into a high-protein, high-fiber, and highly-satisfying affair! We enjoy incorporating this brand in our kitchen often (check out its highly impressive nutrition panel!).
Choose organic corn. Corn is among the most highly genetically modified crops in the world, so if you’re looking to avoid GMO’s, make certain the variety you use is non-GMO certified and/or organic.
Pick your fresh favorites. Although the vegetable combo in the recipe below is sure to please, other vegetables can easily be substituted, like broccoli, eggplant, peas, etc. For best results use the zucchini as the vegetable to swap with a pound of another favorite vegetable, although you can also switch up the corn or even the bell pepper as well.
Cook down the sauce. A longish, slow simmer allows the pasta sauce to both develop flavor and release water. To avoid being ove