Springtime Italian Pasta Primavera

Everyone loves pasta.  Everyone.

Everyone loves pasta. Everyone.

Continuing with our theme of eating healthy, here is a springtime pasta dish full of veggies and plenty of important nutrients.  It can be made to be gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, FODMAP friendly- or all of the above!  We’re sure it will become another family favorite, and although kids aren’t usually fans of chunky veggies, the versatility of making the topping separately allows some wiggle room for pickier eaters.  Don’t be discouraged by the long ingredient list, either: many of these items are probably already in your pantry.

Feel free to substitute ingredients for different dietary needs.  No matter which combination below you choose, there will be a healthy dose of benefits: the recommended amount of fiber is 15 grams or more per day, and you’ll take in 8 grams from this meal alone.  The cheese and pasta are rich in protein, the veggies in complex carbohydrates and the olive oil in healthy fat.  Who knew pasta could be so helpful?

Once the veggies are prepared, this is a quick dish that is sure to please your springtime culinary desires!

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large garlic clove, chopped (leave out if following FODMAP)
3 cups whole tomatoes in can drained and chopped
1/2 cup sliced red onion (replace with chives if FODMAP)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided (or more)
1 cup spaghetti squash (see below on how to prepare)*
1 package gluten free pasta (I used TruRoots ancient grain spaghetti)
1 cup cubed zucchini
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese, divided, parmesan or nutritional yeast
Freshly ground black papper
Lemon slices (optional)

*To prepare spaghetti squash slice in half and remove seeds.  Place in a glass baking dish cut side down.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Spaghetti Squash adds a satisfying crunch to pasta dishes.

Spaghetti Squash adds a satisfying crunch to pasta dishes.

Once cooked through you can spoon out the spaghetti.
Place pasta in boiling water and cook for about 7 minutes.

Directions:
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oregano and garlic; saute 30 seconds.  Add red onion, tomatoes and 2 tablespoons parsley.  Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Add spinach at the end and allow to wilt, then turn off heat and cover to keep hot.

Place spaghetti in a bowl and top with vegetable mix.  Place either parmesan, goat cheese or nutritional yeast on top and allow to melt.  Can garnish with more parsley or lemon or green onions.

Primavera 2

Enjoy!

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