Veggie Pasta in a Balsamic & Tomato Sauce

 

 

 

I made this simple and fast, but flavorful pasta dish for Sunday dinner tonight. I was busy all afternoon after driving home from vacation, unpacking, grocery shopping, running, and making out with my man hehehe so I wanted to make something not too time-consuming.

This was done in about 30 minutes, but if I had more time I would have let it simmer for a while longer before eating just to get that extra depth in flavor that a sauce always gets after cooking for a longer period of time. Even with the shorter cooking time though, this pasta did the trick when it comes to quick meals with a not-so-quick-meal taste!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box whole wheat rotini (or whatever pasta shape you like)
  • 1 can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 cups frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 handful fresh chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper
  • nutritional yeast to taste, or parm cheese if you’re not a vegan

Boil a pot of water, and throw pasta in to cook. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Slice the onion and add to the oil. While onion cooks for 3-5 minutes to get soft, chop the zucchini into half-moon shapes and add to the onion. Peel the eggplant and chop into half-moon shapes as well and add to the onion and zucchini. Give these veggies a stir, and while they are cooking, thaw frozen spinach in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Once it’s thawed, drain to get all excess liquid out and add to the pan with the other veggies. Stir together and add 3/4 cups of the veggie broth. Turn pan on high and simmer the veggies for about 5 minutes. While they are simmering, peel and minced garlic cloves and add to the pan. Chop the rosemary and add after the garlic is incorporated. Once the broth has been soaked and the veggies are tender, soft, and browned, add the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, can of tomatoes, and the remaining 1/4 cup of veggie broth. Turn heat back to medium and stir everything until it is incorporated thoroughly. Next, add salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Once the sauce is at the consistency you desire, either with more liquid or less, turn off the heat, drain the pasta and add it to the saucepan with the veggies and sauce. Chop the basil and add it into the pasta and veggie mixture and stir so that the pasta is fully coated with sauce and basil. Serve immediately with nutritional yeast sprinkled over top. 

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