While some of my recipes stem from wonderful restaurant dishes, others are created out of disappointment. Take for example this vegetable pasta dish. I had gone to a favorite restaurant of mine, ordered their seasonal veg-friendly pasta, and received one of the most disappointing meals I’ve had in some time. The ratio of pasta to vegetables sat somewhere around 10:1 and there was no sauce. None. I’m not one for overly sauce pasta but this took that to an extreme.
And so, I set out to right that pasta dish with an easy summer recipe. I love tossing all the summer vegetables into a pan- it’s hard to mess it up. Add to that a few chickpeas and enough cream/veg-friendly parmesan and you have yourself a meal. Use what you have on hand, swap the pasta for grains, or toss in some homemade pesto: everything is fair-game in this vegetable pasta!
Summer Vegetable Pasta with Chickpeas
A hearty summer pasta that uses chickpeas to bulk up the recipe and a bit of heavy cream and parmesan to create a simple sauce.
- 1/2 medium yellow onion
- 1 small to medium zucchini
- 5 to 6 small sweet peppers
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
- 4 ounces pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas (drained and rinsed if using canned)
- 1/4 cup lightly packed basil, julienned
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup lightly packed parmesan
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare the vegetables: dice the onion and zucchini into similar sized pieces and slice the smaller peppers into rings. Slice the tomatoes in half. Start the pasta cooking and cook until al dente.
- Heat a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, followed by the vegetables. Saute until the vegetables are tender and browning, stirring occasionally; 8 to 10 minutes. Add in the chickpeas and basil, cooking and stirring until the chickpeas are warm.
- Add in the pasta as well as the heavy cream, parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir to coat the noodles and melt the parmesan. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Tips & Tricks: You could use smaller pasta, like the penne I used, or you could make this dish with a longer noodle, like spaghetti.
Nutrition: see the information.
Step by Step
Summer Vegetable Pasta
This is about as generic as a pasta dish comes, but I did that on purpose. Summer produce is a bit easier to work with than other seasonal produce because most of the time it’s best barely cooked and pairs well with so many different grains and pasta recipes.
Pesto: Skip the basil and stir in a hefty spoonful of pesto.
Grains: Not a pasta fan? Make the vegetables as written then add in the cream and cheese without the pasta. Use the mixture to top a grain bowl.
Vegan: The flavors in this pasta work well with a nut cream. I like using almond with the summer flavors but cashew would work well.
Chickpeas are always in my pantry. They make a quick meal, like these turmeric chickpeas, but can also serve as a great dip, deli sandwich, or addition to soup. They are versatile and a power boost to any meal.