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Ten Minute Vegetarian Pasta

Updated on June 17, 2015
Quick and easy pasta supper recipe
Quick and easy pasta supper recipe | Source

Meat free pasta dinner recipe - so quick & easy

It seems to happen almost every evening. I suddenly realize that it's gone eight o'clock, we're hungry - and yet I haven't given a thought to what to make for dinner.

We both love pasta - it's quick, easy to prepare and inexpensive too - so often, that's the answer. This is one of our favorite recipes and features fresh vegetables and mozzarella cheese, and best of all, it takes only ten minutes from start to finish.

This has become a regular recipe in my kitchen because of its simplicity and tastiness. I have fresh herbs growing in a pot too and I use oregano in this dish to give the dish an Italian aroma and flavor. It's also a great meal to make if we've been out and arrive home hungry, and it's so much cheaper than calling for a takeout or delivery. Faster too.

I checked our local Italian takeouts and the average pasta dish, some admittedly with meat, cost between $10 and $15 (or more) each. Add a tip for the delivery and it would cost us at least $20 to buy a similar dish. This costs a fraction of the price and has the added benefit in that it allows me to feel smug about making home cooked dinners.

The ingredients for this quick & easy dish

Ingredients for this vegetarian pasta dish
Ingredients for this vegetarian pasta dish

Dinner for two

  • 4oz. pasta
  • ½ large zucchini
  • 1 large tomato
  • 3 scallions / spring onions
  • 3 cloves garlic. (We love garlic. Reduce this amount if you wish).
  • 3oz. mozzarella
  • 6 - 8 pitted black olives
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

Let's begin...

Pasta for vegetarian supper dish
Pasta for vegetarian supper dish

COOK THE PASTA

Boil plenty of water in a large pan. If you have a special pasta pot, as I do, this makes life a lot easier. (See below). We don't add salt to cooking but if you do, then add a pinch of sea salt to the water. When it's boiling, add the pasta.

TIMING

Of course, the best way is to time your pasta as per the pack instructions - most of the brands I use recommend 8 - 9 minutes. I usually cook it for a minute less than the recommended time because we both like ours al dente. The best way, it to check it by tasting.

TIP

There's a fine line when it comes to setting the heat to a temperature that keeps the water at a rolling boil and having it so hot that it boils over. The way to stop it from boiling over is to lay a wooden spoon across the top of the pan. I'm sure there's some scientific reason for this, which I don't know or understand, but it definitely works.

Totally brilliant pot

Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 8-Quart Covered Straining Stockpot
Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 8-Quart Covered Straining Stockpot

I wish I'd invented this!

This saves me from using a colander, which is a bulky item in my tiny kitchen. You can see how easy it is to strain pasta.

And I'd estimate that I use this several times a week because it's great as a regular pan but also drains vegetables, soups, sauces ... anything.

Have you ever had cooked pasta land in the sink because you've lost your grip on the colander? I have!

This prevents that and this simple idea makes cooking so much easier and safer.

 

Vegetables

Zucchini, onions and garlic in pan.
Zucchini, onions and garlic in pan.

ZUCCHINI

Heat the olive oil in a skillet / frying pan and add the sliced zucchini. These will take about five minutes to cook. There's no need to stir them often but do keep your eye on them because thinner slices can burn easily. A little browning is fine though.

ONIONS

Slice the green sections of the onions and add to a small bowl. A cereal bowl is about right. Slice the white parts of the onions and add them to the pan with the zucchini.

GARLIC

Slice or chop the garlic. The size of the slices determine how 'garlicky' your dish will be. Garlic that is put through a press, or chopped very finely, will give the dish a more garlicky taste than larger slices. Add the garlic to the pan too and leave on a medium low heat to sauté.

The remaining vegetables & cheese

Vegetables ready to be added to the pasta dish
Vegetables ready to be added to the pasta dish

TOMATOES

Remove the seeds and chop the tomatoes. Add these to the bowl with the onion tops.

BLACK OLIVES

Slice the black olives and add these too.

MOZZARELLA

Chop the cheese into cubes.

Mozzarella
Mozzarella

Put it all together!

Add the courgettes
Add the courgettes

ASSEMBLE

Drain the pasta and mix with the zucchini. I add the pasta to the skillet, rather than the other way around because the spiral shapes picks up the garlic-flavored olive oil.

ADD THE OTHER VEGETABLES

Stir the zucchini and pasta so that the zucchini is evenly distributed, keeping the pan on a medium low heat. Stir in the remaining vegetables.

Pasta with vegetables
Pasta with vegetables

Serve

ADD CHEESE & HERBS

Sprinkle the chopped oregano into the pasta. We like the fresh flavor of herbs that are added at the last minute. Add the mozzarella and stir this so that the cheese melts. The 'meltiness' is up to you and your taste in melted cheese. We like it just going soft. If you want to give it a hand you can put the pan under the broiler for a few seconds.

SERVE

We often have this with some fresh, wholewheat bread. Delicious!

Further reading

Pasta is filling, inexpensive and versatile. It cooks quickly and it's easy to create wonderful pasta dishes in next to no time. Italian cooks have, for generations, been experts at making the most of fresh, local ingredients using pasta to add filling bulk to the meals.

Serving

If you're familiar with my other recipes, you'll know that I'm very fond of red tableware. When I'm serving pasta for friends or at a dinner party, I always serve it in an attractive red serving bowl. I love the contrast between the pale yellow / ivory and the bright red.

Photography credits

All images © me.

© 2013 Jackie Jackson

Comments

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    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @SamiPearl: Thanks!

    • SamiPearl profile image

      SamiPearl 

      5 years ago

      I'll definitely be trying this one out! Here are my favorite quick and easy pasta recipes - all vegetarian, too! https://hubpages.com/food/top-5-make-at-home-pasta...

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @yania227: Thank you!

    • yania227 profile image

      yania227 

      5 years ago

      Simple and lovely :)

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @SteveKaye: Thank you so much for visiting!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 

      5 years ago

      Great recipe. I'll put this on my list of quick meals. Yum. Thank you for publishing this lens.

    • profile image

      TheGardenGuys 

      5 years ago

      Great lens - nice big colorful pictures. Well done on a great lens.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @KamalaEmbroidery: Thank you - nature is the best designer :)

    • KamalaEmbroidery profile image

      KamalaEmbroidery 

      5 years ago

      I love pasta - simple, fresh ingredients - delicious. I love the colors in your recipe.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Rangoon House: The colors are part of the attraction, aren't they? And so tasty too :)

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 

      5 years ago from Australia

      We too are pasta addicts and this looks just wonderful. I do similar mix ups, which are fresh, colourful and delicious.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @supercelticangel: That's great! Have a good look round my recipes. We haven't eaten meat for years and don't miss it at all.

    • supercelticangel profile image

      supercelticangel 

      5 years ago

      This recipe is so simple and sounds it would be delicious and looks so good! I have started to eat more vegetables, fruit and i have already started juicing. I am starting a healthier lifestyle and I feel really so much better I very rarely eat meat anymore.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Joanna14: I'n sure you'll enjoy it - we do :)

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @soaringsis: It's very quick, easy and tasty - that's the sort of recipe I like!

    • Joanna14 profile image

      Christine Hulme 

      5 years ago from SE Kent, England

      Sounds delicious. Must remember this for a last-minute meal for the two of us. Thanks!

    • profile image

      soaringsis 

      5 years ago

      What great photo displays and instructions. Thanks for sharing.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @fifta: I'm sure you'll enjoy it - thanks!

    • fifta profile image

      fifta 

      5 years ago

      Yummy, I always wonder how to make a vegetarian version of pasta. Your lens answers my question. Thanks, will try this very soon.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @lgOlson: It's SO good! Thanks so much :)

    • lgOlson profile image

      L Olson 

      5 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Yum..this is my dinner tomorrow!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @SusanDeppner: The way to a man's heart ... :) Mine would be happy with pasta every night I think!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Heaven on a plate! I love to fix meals like this one. You're right - very quick, easy, and my husband loves it, too.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: Thank you so much, Karin. I appreciate your comments very much!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      You make everything look so easy. From cooking to writing outstanding articles. I am going to make this...will let you know how it turns out.

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