I’ve been going through this blog’s entries (dating back to 2006, wow) and organising them. You’ll find a new “Recipes” item in the menu at the top of the site, which will take you to all the recipes I’ve ever posted.

I’m amazed how many gaps there are, really. Lots of things I cook all the time aren’t listed. Therefore, tonight, I offer you one of my most basic recipes, which is nevertheless missing from the archives: veg pasta.

a bowl of linguine with vegetable sauce and parmesan

I almost feel like this doesn’t need a recipe. But just because every cook I know has their own version, doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from each others, or that newer cooks might not find it helpful. So, here goes.

Recipe: basic vegetable pasta (summer edition)

This version of my pasta recipe is best suited for the summer, when zucchini and peppers and fresh tomatoes are abundant.

Serves 3, approx. Quantities are easily modified by increasing quantities all around; this just happened to be how much I made tonight.

Set a large pot of water boiling for the pasta, add a spoonful of salt, then begin on the sauce in a separate pan:

  • 1 small onion, cut in half lengthwise then thinly sliced
  • 1 pinch dried chili flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • generous slurp of olive oil

Saute the onion and chili flakes in the oil until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and saute for another minute, but don’t let it brown.

pasta ingredients: a bowl of chopped vegies, a bunch of parsley, and a head of garlic

Then toss in:

  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 6 small mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 red capsicum, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 bottle passata (Italian tomato sauce)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Bring quickly to the boil, then leave these to simmer, covered. It will seem a bit dry at first, but as the zucchini and other veg cook they’ll let out some liquid. Give them a stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook your pasta. I used linguine in this case. (Handy rule of thumb: a 500g packet of pasta will make 4 large serves or 6 small ones. I used about half a packet.)

When the pasta’s approaching done, taste your veg sauce and add:

  • handful of parsley or other herbs, eg. basil or fresh oregano, moderately finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Give it a stir and let it simmer just another few minutes. If it’s still very dry you can add a little of the pasta cooking liquid, but you probably won’t need to.

When the pasta’s done, drain it and toss it with a little olive oil, then serve with the sauce and freshly grated parmesan.

The sauce keeps okay in the fridge and makes adequate leftovers, but really, it’s best fresh.