Pasta Primavera

I first discovered Pasta Primavera in the mid 1980’s, at Boskos in Calistoga. Spinach fettuccine smothered in a flavorful marinara loaded with fresh vegetables. The vegetables were always crisp-tender, never overcooked. What I loved most about it was that it was light, but hearty. I just knew that I was eating something healthy. I always left feeling satisfied, but never stuffed.

Today, I needed to make a quick, comforting and healthy meal. I had some brown rice pasta, loads of vegetables, and a prepared marinara sauce.

This is super simple to make. Here is what you will need:

1 pound brown rice pasta (penne shown here)
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces crimini mushrooms
garlic (optional)
2 cooked chicken sausages (about 4-6 ounces)
1-2 zucchini, sliced & grilled, cut into bite-sized pieces*
1 small eggplant, sliced & grilled, cut into bite-sized pieces*
A spring or two of fresh thyme, stripped
16-ounce jar or can of your favorite prepared marinara sauce
Chopped fresh parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, just a touch

Brown Rice Pasta Primavera

Follow the cooking directions for the pasta you choose.

Saute the crimini mushrooms and garlic in the olive oil. While the mushrooms are sauteing, slice 2 cooked chicken sausages into about 1/4-inch thick slices. Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside. Brown the sausages, return the mushrooms to the pan, and add theĀ  chopped grilled zucchini and eggplant. Add the fresh thyme and marinara sauce. Stir to combine and cook on low to heat through.

While the sauce is heating, cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Place cooked pasta in a serving bowl and grate just a little cheese on the pasta. Ladle some sauce on, and garnish with a touch more cheese and chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!

*I used Trader Joe’s Misto Alla Griglia Marinated and Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini.

You really can use any vegetables you like in this. Experiment – have fun with it.

This makes for great cycling recovery food, or a dinner the night before a big ride, but it is also light enough that if you are responsible with your portion size, it’s great for a weekend like this that didn’t see too many cycling miles. It also makes for yummy leftovers.

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