Hagenburger family's famous made-to-order party pasta
Some advanced preparation will yield a delicious go-to dinner or quick party fare any night of the week. Guests choose their own vegetables for customized (and healthy!) fun.
Timaree HagenburgerNutrition Professor
, Cosumnes River College, Sacramento
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Tomato almond pesto or your favorite sauce
Penne, rotini or your favorite pasta
Water or vegetable broth, if needed
Vegetables such as:
Red onion (thin slices or very small dice)
Garlic (pressed or finely minced)
Broccoli (very small florets)
Cauliflower (very small florets)
Asparagus (bite-sized pieces)
Zucchini (medium dice; not too big)
Fresh tomatoes (small dice)
Fresh greens (roughly chopped kale, spinach, chard, collards or any combination)
Artichoke hearts (cut into small pieces)
Green or kalamata olives (cut into quarters and then each quarter into 3 to 4 pieces)
Advanced preparation: Make your favorite pasta sauce and cook whole grain pasta al dente (undercook it by 1 to 2 minutes). Our favorite shapes are penne or rotini, as they mix with the vegetables and hold the sauce well. Also prepare your choice of vegetables.
Just before serving: Cook onions in a dry saucepan over medium-high heat until they begin to caramelize. Add a tablespoon or two of water or vegetable broth if they get too dry. Add in sun-dried tomatoes and garlic, being careful not to burn the garlic. Then add the vegetables that will take the longest to cook (broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, etc.) and cook for a few minutes. Stir in quicker-cooking vegetables (asparagus) and lastly, add zucchini, tomatoes and greens and cook until greens are just wilted. Add pasta, sauce, artichoke hearts and olives, stir well and cook until heated through.