I just got back from Texas and was in need of a serious veggie detox after eating BBQ, slaw, BBQ, and a side of BBQ. However, JUST veggies seemed a little too extreme! Additionally, I'm cooking only for one, so a whole box of pasta is another version of extreme.
Adapted from Martha Stewart's One-Pan Pasta recipe, this meal is packed with flavor AND veggies. If pasta can be healthy, this is definitely it! I halved the original recipe, swapped out linguine for penne, used sun dried tomatoes instead of fresh, and threw whatever veggies I had wilting in the fridge into the pot! This is a perfect pantry and fridge clean-out meal. —Laura Korslund
Heat olive oil in a heavy, large, straight sided skillet (preferably with a lid). Add the sliced onions, mushrooms, and red pepper and saute for about 8 minutes, while you chop the other ingredients.
Combine the penne, sun-dried tomatoes and a spoonful of oil from the jar, garlic, red-pepper flakes, half of the basil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet (the penne should lay flat).
Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs or a spatula, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 11 minutes. Add more water if the mixture seems too dry (may be dependent on how much water your veggies sweat out during the process).
Add the asparagus in the last 2 minutes of boiling, so the asparagus retains some crunch and doesn't get too squishy.
Add baby spinach in the last 1 minute of boiling and mix in.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, put your portion in a bowl(s), and garnish with basil. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan. Eat the rest for leftovers, either at room temp or warmed up!