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Chef Terri Diens Friday Nite Pasta

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Why I Love This Recipe

I've been making pasta for dinner at least 2 times a week for almost 8 years now. It's filling, low in fat, chock full of healthy veggies and it makes a ton so there are always leftovers for lunch or midnight snacks. :) The problem is, it's never the same dish twice. I've got bags and bags of different kinds of short pasta (these days they are all whole wheat pastas) in my pantry. Every time, it's a little of this, a little of that -- whatever I happen to have in the fridge or in the cupboards. Olives, canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, etc.

Ingredients You'll Need

Last night, Friday Night Pasta consisted of:
1/2 pound whole wheat rotelli pasta
1/2 pound broccoli florets (from the bag -- I love Trader Joe's)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 orange bell pepper, large dice
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup basil leaves, torn
1/2 of the biggest f'n heirloom tomato I've ever seen (it weighed almost 2 pounds!)
1/2 cup crumbled Feta Cheese (which I found tucked near the back of the fridge)


Get a large pot of water going for the pasta. While it's heating up, sweat the onions with olive oil until they are soft.

This will take about 10 minutes on low-medium heat.

As the onions are sweating, add the garlic and toss until fragrant.

Add the broccoli and bell peppers.

Sprinkle salt and pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Toss around the pan and let them cook.

Cook the pasta in well-salted water until it is al dente.

Scoop out 1 mug-full of the pasta water.

Drain the pasta into a colander and set aside.

If the pan with the veggies seems a bit dry, add 2 tablespoons of the pasta water.

Toss in the cooked pasta, adding some more pasta water to loosen up the pasta.

Toss everything together.

Add the basil, tomato and feta cheese and taste, adjust for salt and pepper. Serve hot.

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