So here, I offer you a healthy meal for one called "Vegetables and Pasta" because too often I find that "Pasta with Vegetables" turns out to be mostly pasta with five or so pieces of broccoli. I wanted this dish to be vegetable heavy and pasta light to make it more nutrient dense but also because the vegetables are usually my favorite part anyway. Many of the ingredients I used are inspired by a similar dish my friend Pamela used to make quite frequently for dinner in college. It always looked and smelled delicious, but for some reason, I never cooked pasta all that much.
The small amount of goat cheese in it adds just a touch of creaminess, but not enough to make the dish heavy by any means, while the bright citrus flavor from the juice and zest of the lemon make this much more of a summer ragú than a cheesy winter comfort food. I enjoyed it quite a bit and then wondered why I didn't make it more often at school.
Vegetables with Pasta
1/2 cup whole wheat penne
1/4 medium vidalia onion, finely chopped
3/4 large zucchini, quartered and chopped
juice and zest of half a small lemon
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
pinch or two of salt to taste
~ 1 tablespoon goat cheese
1- 2 tablespoons reserved pasta water
parmesianno-reggiano to grate over top
Boil salted water for the pasta and in the meantime chop all vegetables. Drain the pasta after it's cooked, reserving some pasta water, and return the now empty pasta pot to the stove. Thinly coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil and let heat for a few seconds. Add the chopped onions and cook for a minute or two before adding the zucchini. Add the lemon juice and zest and after two or so more minutes, add the tomatoes and salt. Cook until the tomatoes have slightly broken down (about a minute) and add the pasta back into the pot. Next add the goat cheese and reserved pasta water and mix until cheese is melted and pasta and vegetables are coated. Pour into serving bowl and garnish with grated parmesan cheese.