mediterranean pasta | meat free monday

I used to be addicted to the Mediterranean pasta they sold at Sydney Uni in the students food court. A little Chinese container full of pasta, loaded up with olives and feta really used to do it for me between tutes (If I ever stayed around for the afternoon classes that is).

I then went through a stage of making my own version all the time and have recently rekindled my love for it since following the whole ‘meat free Monday’ mantra.

This pasta dish is really tasty and can be served on its own for a midweek meal or can be ramped up with a big leafy side salad and crusty loaf of bread for when you have friends over. It goes really well with a glass of chilled white wine. What am I saying? It goes well with any wine.

This is a special batch that I made due to the lovely baby cherry tomatoes from my sister in laws garden. Gosh good tomatoes make a difference don’t they!?

Enjoy.

mediterranean pasta (serves 4 – 6 pax)

500 grams of penne pasta
1 x spanish onion, finely diced
3 x garlic cloves, crushed
1 x zucchini, finely sliced
1 x red capsicum, diced
8 x button mushrooms, sliced
Small handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Small handful of pitted Kalamata olives
10 x semi dried tomatoes, chopped
Nice big handful of baby spinach
Sprinkling of chilli flakes
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Olive oil, for frying the vegetables and for extra drizzling

  • Put the pasta on to cook in a large pot of salted boiling water.
  • In a large frying pan, add a glug of olive oil and saute the onion and garlic until soft.
  • Throw in the zucchini, capsicum and mushrooms and let them cook until they’re about 3/4 of the way to being cooked through. (You don’t want them getting too soggy).
  • Add the cherry tomatoes, olives, semi dried tomatoes and chilli flakes and cook for another couple of minutes.
  • By this stage, the veggies should all be nicely softened but still holding their shape and the pasta should be ready to drain.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving a mug full of the pasta water.
  • Add the baby spinach to the vegetable mixture and stir.
  • Combine the pasta and vegetable mixture together, adding a splash of the pasta water to loosen up the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour out in to a large, shallow bowl, drizzle with olive oil and crumble the feta over the top.Serve immediately by itself or as part of a feast with a green leafy salad and some crusty bread.

Lo’s tips

  • You can also use wholemeal pasta instead if you like.
  • Other vegetables such as eggplant, artichokes, fresh parsley and basil go well with this pasta also. Just use whatever you have handy.
  • You can also add some bacon or salami to this recipe if you like. Simply fry it off with the onion and garlic in the first step.

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If you make this pasta please leave your comments below, or send me a pic here as I would love to share it on the blog. xx

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