Pasta al Fresca

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Serves 4 to 6


This delicious pasta with fresh vegetables can easily be adapted for vegetarians or vegans by using vegetarian broth instead of beef or chicken.  It is equally delectable made either way.  This is a tasty, inexpensive and very healthy meal.  Serve it with a toss salad and a fresh baguette from the store and you have an excellent meal.


1 pound raw pasta (medium shells, Rigatoni, wagon wheels or Panne)


2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 medium size yellow or white onion, chopped small

2 to 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced (or to taste )

1 stalk of celery, chopped small

About 6 to 8 mushrooms, sliced (including the stems – you paid for them, why throw them away – they are just as good as the rest of the mushroom)

1 sweet red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips

1 or 2 small zucchini, cut into rounds about ¼-inch thick

1 or 2 tomatoes, chopped

1 teaspoon mixed dry herbs (Italian seasoning)


1 tablespoon vegetarian bouillon powder

2 tablespoon sugar

¼ cup cider or red wine vinegar

½ cup water


Fresh coarse ground black pepper to taste


¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Parmesan cheese


Cook your pasta to desired degree of doneness. See Cooking Paste


Then, heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet and gently sauté the onion and garlic.  You don’t want it to be brown, just sort of soft and pinkish.  Add the Celery and mushrooms and continue to sauté until they are soft but not yet beginning to brown.  Then add the pepper and sauté until it is hot through.  Add the zucchini, tomato and herbs and continue to cook gently.  While this is cooking, add the bouillon, sugar, vinegar and water.  Stir gently to mix well and allow to simmer gently for about 5 minutes.  Taste and add the salt and pepper to taste.  You may want a bit more sugar and vinegar.  Play it by ear and make it taste the way you want it to.  Pour the cooked pasta into the pan of vegetables, add the parsley and cook only until everything is hot through.  Drizzle on a bit more olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan. 


The English Country Kitchen



        Copyright © 2008 - Geraldine Duncann