This was a cleaning out the fridge Saturday evening dinner. All done in under 30 minutes and real tasty.
After returning from our week camping, I haven't been to a grocery store once, not even for bread. So, I am desperately running low on just about everything. I was planning to get something in to make a more special dinner last night, but the sheer energy to move just wasn't there. So, after about 10 minutes of poking around the cupboards and fridge, I found enough stuff to make dinner. There was some fresh mozzarella, a red pepper, some left over sun dried tomatoes and basic cupboard staples. So, dinner was served.
I was reading an article the other day about cupboard staples you must have. I can't remember where I read it, otherwise I would share the link. But it's true, if you have a well stocked pantry, dinner can happen without heading out to the store. Things like pasta, rice, legumes and tinned tomatoes are great staples to always have on hand. As well as substantial spice rack, stock cubes, condiments and so on. If you do manage to keep all these things on hand, life becomes a whole lot easier. I was just saying the other day that I am terrible with well stocked freezer meals and stuff like that. But I got the pantry items down pat.
The capers in this dish give it a real punch. I am relatively new to liking capers and realized that I have been missing out. A few go a long way, and in this pasta dish by frying them with the vegetables for few minutes, it really brings the flavour to life. If you are not a fan of capers, just leave them out. The other ingredients along with the fresh mozzarella are enough to keep it tasting good.
When cooking pasta dishes with different components, it is always a good idea to get different things going at the same time. For example, cook your pasta in one pot while the veggies are cooking in another pot. This saves a bunch of time and your dinner is on the table in a fraction of the time. Once upon a time, way back when I started out cooking, I used to like to do one step, complete it and then move on. Needless to say, it took a lot longer. Sure things were a wee bit tidier, but hey it's only dishes. Years on, usually every burner is in full rage with simmering pots and the mess somehow manages to get cleaned up along the way.
Stove Top Penne Pasta with Veggies
Serves 4 / Prep time: 10 minutes / Cook time: 15 minutes
1/2 lb Penne pasta
1 Red pepper, diced
1 Green pepper, diced
1 Small zucchini, quartered lengthways and diced
1 Onion, finely chopped
1/2 Cup/25 grams sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon capers
1 Teaspoon dried basil
1 Teaspoon sea salt
Small bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 Garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Ball fresh mozzarella, finely grated
Cook pasta according to package, drain and set aside.
In a large skillet set over medium heat add the olive oil and garlic, stir for a minute. Add the red pepper, green pepper, zucchini and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 12-15 minutes. Add the sun dried tomatoes, capers, pasta, salt, basil and parsley. Stir and cook for a further few minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle over cheese and stir through. Serve straight away.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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