Friday, April 5, 2013

On My Hearth: Pasta Primavera

Chip requested Spaghetti and "Meat"balls for dinner last night, but I wanted something a bit lighter myself.  That's the great thing about pasta, you can boil up a big pot and top it any way you like!

So, I bought some vegetarian meatballs for him, and set about making the rest of the meal from scratch. Since we were home in Ormond, I wanted to take advantage of our local proprietors as much as possible.  First stop, the Ormond Beach Farmer's Market, a weekly event that takes place at the beautiful Rockefeller Gardens.

The Casements

Unfortunately the weather reports predicted rain so the market was not as busy as usual. We normally have lots of venders; this time, only a handful showed up.

Giant carrots!

Local, Organic Veggies

Lone Guacamole Vender
I was able to purchase several of the ingredients needed but not all, so on the way home I stopped by Access to Organics and Nature's Garden to gather the rest.

Once again, I turned to my tried & true Jazzy Vegetarian cookbook for this healthy Italian recipe.  While hubby's veggie meatballs simmered on the stove, I chopped, steamed and boiled my way to this gorgeous dish. 

Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavery Jazzy

This is a fresh primavera style dish incorporating vegetables that may be commonly found at your local farmers’ market. This dish is easy to prepare and lower in fat than cream-based versions of this pasta favorite.

Serves 4

1 pound organic, whole grain spaghetti, shell, rigatoni, or penne*
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil (or 12-20 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade cut)
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic )
1 teaspoon reduced sodium tamari (to taste)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil  (to taste)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper (optional)
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced thinly
2 cups green beans, cleaned and cut in half
1 medium Bermuda onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini (or broccoli), cut in chunks

In a very large pot, put salted water on to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, place chopped tomatoes in the bottom of a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with basil, garlic, a dash of tamari, sea salt, and coarse ground pepper. Cover with a bit of olive oil, stir, and let marinate while preparing other ingredients. Start to steam the carrots for about 10 minutes, then add the green beans and onions and steam for about 5 minutes more, then add the zucchini (or broccoli) and continue steaming until all of the vegetables are crisp tender. Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente and quickly drain. Pour the drained pasta over the marinating tomato mixture and pour the steamed vegetables over the top. Add more herbs and tamari, if needed, to taste. Toss well and serve with a green salad and whole grain organic bread.

*Gypsy's Note: I used organic white pasta because Chip prefers it over whole grain

The Verdict: Absolutely delicious! Light and spring-y, full of flavor & spice. This will be making regular appearances on my dinner table!
We are back in St Augustine today, I'm sitting in the RV sipping coffee and listening to the rain hit the roof.  Tonight we plan to revisit Present Moment Cafe, looking forward to exploring their dinner menu.  

Have a wonderful day, TGIF!


  1. Love your colorful pasta! All that color is so healthy and delicious. As usual when reading your blog, my main thought is "yum!"

  2. Thank you, Aisling! I love filling my plate with color, don't you?