“Back from Vacation” Healthy Veggie Pasta

I love vacation. So much, in fact, that I wrote two blog posts about it last week. It was wonderful to travel across the beautiful state of Oregon and experience great sights and tastes, from the the mountains to the coast. The downside of eating out all the time, however, is vegetable deprivation. It’s often difficult to get something green on your plate unless you order a salad!

As soon as we got back from our trip, we were all eager to fill our bodies with nutrient-rich vegetables (even Luke). I decided to make a simple and easy classic, described to Luke as spaghetti without the meat.

Serves 4


  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (fire roasted, preferably)
  • 1-2 cups of chopped vegetables (I red  used red pepper and zucchini squash)
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 TBSP butter (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces Orecchiette pasta (or other type you might have in your pantry)
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Step One:

Saute the garlic and onions in olive oil 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce, salt and pepper, and half of the chopped basil. Saute about 5-10 minutes. You can simmer for a longer period of time and it will only enhance the flavor.

If you have lots of tomatoes in your garden right, this dish would be spectacular with fresh, roasted tomatoes.

Step Two:

Prepare the pasta according to the directions.

Step Three:

While the pasta is cooking, add the chopped veggies, sugar and butter. (If your family prefers a creamier sauce, add 1 TBSP of cream instead of butter. Or avoid the butter altogether. It simply adds some extra flavor for very little added fat and calories per serving).

Step Four:

Drain the pasta and add to your pasta sauce. Add about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid as well.

Serve and add parmesan cheese on top!

Melinda Hinson