Pasta With Summer Vegetables

I created this way to serve pasta as a flavorful side dish that goes well with many different main dishes. The ingredients below make 3 generous servings.

INGREDIENTS:

About 8 ounces pasta (rigatoni, penne rigate or fusilli)
2 – 3 T olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/3 tsp. sugar
1/3 cup chopped tomato
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper (about 1/4 inch dice)
1 large clove of minced garlic
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/3 tsp. basil
1/3 tsp. marjoram
2 or 3 T grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

PROCEDURE:

Cook the pasta according to directions on the package. While the water is heating and the pasta is cooking mince the garlic and chop the onion, carrot and green pepper and put them in a small bowl. Remove the stem from the tomato and chop it medium fine. When the pasta is nearly done, microwave the onion, carrot, pepper and garlic until the vegetables are hot but not cooked. The pepper should still be crunchy.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add two tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, about 1/3 tsp. salt and sugar. Stir in the vegetables, spices and parmesan. Grind in some black pepper and taste. Add more salt and spices if necessary. If the pasta appears dry, add a little more olive oil.

Serve with parmesan on the side so guests can add more if they wish.

Notes: Fresh herbs work well too. Start with about three times as much as listed in the recipe and chop them fine. You can double this recipe very easily by using a whole package of pasta. You can vary or add other vegetables, such as zucchini, yellow squash, green beans. I have used yellow, red and Vidalia onions and red and yellow peppers at one time or another. I have also garnished the pasta with chopped parsley, but I did not think of it yesterday and it really is not essential.

Serve with parmesan on the side so guests can add more if they wish.

NOTES:  Fresh herbs work well too.  Start with about three times as much as listed in the recipe and chop them fine.  You can double this recipe very easily by using a whole package of pasta.

You can vary or add other vegetables, such as green or wax  beans or jalapeño peppers.  I have also used yellow, red and Vidalia onions and red and yellow peppers at one time or another.   If you serve this recipe cold, you can call it a salad.