Vegetable Spaghetti

I have a tendency to make a lot of food and I don’t like eating the same thing twice. So, in order to avoid wasting a ton of food, I had to develop my own system of planning meals ahead in stages. I never feel like I’m eating leftovers, because the entire meal isn’t the same two times in a row. And since I don’t have a ton of time (see aforementioned motherhood), it’s easier to make quick meals if I’m really only making part of the meal. And more importantly… less cleanup.

Thanks to last week’s vegetable run, I had some zucchini, yellow squash and peppers in the fridge and had an idea of making sausage pasta. I started with the sausage by making Spicy Sausage & Pepper Sandwiches for dinner. Then, a couple days later, I made my dad’s vegetable spaghetti and added the whole grain pasta as an easy way to stretch it (the hubs likes to eat… and he’s training for a 10-mile race). It tastes great either way. So, if you’re leaving out the pasta, then just double the veggies. I paired this with the remaining sausage & pepper, which I cut up into large diagonal slices and nestled in the center of a huge nest of the pasta. If you have extra bread leftover, you can always add some garlic bread too.

The best thing about this recipe is that you can cook it in the same time it would take to boil pasta. The brand of pasta I used took 7 minutes to cook. So, if the brand you use has different timing then adjust accordingly. If you have superior knife skills like my dad, you can julienne all the veggies with a knife. If you have limited time like me, then a mandolin or a julienne peeler are the fast and easy option for everything. Just make sure you’re julienning along the full length of the vegetables so the strips look like pasta strands. For the zucchini and yellow squash stop cutting when you see the seeds. The core doesn’t hold up to cooking as well as the flesh and skin. To make it easier when julienning the carrots, I recommend grabbing twice the amount of carrots you need and julienning only as much as will not cause you injury from your slicer of choice and get the equivalent of 2 large carrots. Just cut up the remainder (doesn’t have to be pretty) and save it for your next salad. The red pepper works best if you julienne it with a knife. Try to get close to the size of everything else. Cut slowly and don’t stress. It’s going to get mixed up with everything else so no one will notice if they’re not perfect. When I make this without meat, I generally add a little more than a cup of defrosted French-style cut green beans.

Vegetable Spaghetti

Vegetable Pasta

13 oz whole grain thin spaghetti
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large carrots, julienned along the full length
1 large red pepper, core removed and julienned along the full length
1 generous cup of french style cut green beans (optional)
1 tbsp herbes de provence
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 zucchini, julienned along the full length
2 yellow squash, julienned along the full length
1 tsp kosher salt or handful of parmesan cheese

Set pasta pot on high heat and skillet on medium heat. When the pasta water comes to a boil, add a handful of salt, the pasta and set your timer. At 7 minutes, add the olive oil to your skillet along with the carrots, red pepper (green beans, if you’re using them) and herbs. At 4 minutes to go, add the garlic. When you can smell the garlic (about a minute) add the zucchini and yellow squash and move it around the pan. When the pasta is done, add it to the pot and toss to combine. You can add salt, but you really won’t need much if you added a good amount of salt to the pasta water and add parmesan cheese. So, try it before you salt it. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

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  • Debra says:

    This blog is making you out to be more like Andre more and more every week LOL. First with the china man and now with the too good for leftovers. I think it would be exciting if he was the one cooking but because it is me not so appealing…. You on the other hand i can tolerate since you remedy your own quirks. I use the veggies in my spaghetti but i usually just chop hunks into my tomato sauce especially since I like my fingers but this is a very nice alternative and pretty. I like pretty plates LOL. And ironically i think i have the perfect tool for slicing the veggies. Another jackpot!

    • Monique says:

      Andre sounds like he’s got great taste in food. lol! Yeah, it’s pretty and doesn’t take much work. The best kind of pretty plate!

  • Ralonza says:

    did you ever use the sausage in the spaghetti? gota little confused there.

    • Monique says:

      I served the sausage with the spaghetti. I did the sausage sandwiches a couple nights before I did the veggie spaghetti. For the sandwiches, I left the sausage whole. Then I cut up the sausage in big chunks, heated it up with the peppers and sauce and served that on top of the veggie spaghetti. So it looked brand new, but it was really the same sausage and peppers I had before. Hope that makes more sense.

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