I think pasta has a bad wrap. After visiting the pasta capital of the world more times than I can count, I can unequivocally say that Italians eat pasta daily and frankly look great!! I get it, everyone is running from carbs these days, but pasta is a worthy carb. It provides glucose which gives the body energy and fuel for our muscles and brains. Now I don’t eat a ton of pasta, but in my house I’d say we have pasta night at least once per week. Among our favorite pasta recipes is my healthy rigatoni recipe.
This recipe combines baby heirloom tomatoes, with fresh garlic and basil, and a new addition I’m loving – zucchini. It is a flavorful hit with everyone, including me. I love making it because the ingredients are fresh and really compliment each other and it’s such a satisfying meal.
Quick & Easy, Healthy Rigatoni Recipe
- 1lbs Rigatoni
- 1TBSP Olive Oil
- 2 lbs. Baby Heirloom tomatoes or Baby tomatoes
- 1 Zucchini
- Large handful basil leaves
- 6 Diced Garlic Cloves
- White pepper
- Salt & Pepper
- Crushed Chili Flakes
- *Garlic Powder
YOU WILL NEED
- Large frying pan with lid
- Large pot to boil pasta
- Potato masher
- Boil and salt 4 quarts of water for pasta.
- Next, slice tomatoes in half; Slice zucchini into quarter slices lengthwise then chop into ½” slices.
- In large frying pan add olive oil; Heat over medium-high heat.
- Add diced garlic to heated oil; sauté until garlic begins to bubble but not brown.
- Add sliced tomatoes; Stir; Lower heat to medium; Cover
- Water for pasta should be boiling by now, add pasta to salted water
- Remove lid from frying pan, tomatoes should be bubbling & and boiling; lower heat to simmer.
- Using a potato masher gently press & smash tomatoes.
- Add zucchini; Add a dash of white pepper; garlic powder if needed; chili flakes (my family likes a bit of heat), and salt & pepper to taste; Stir (be sure to taste it to get the flavor you like).
- Cover and bring heat back up to medium; You want the tomato mixture to begin bubbling again.
- Pasta should be just about done. Cook until al dente.
- Add about ½ – 1 cup of pasta water to the tomato mixture. Stir.
- Turn off heat for the tomato mixture. Drain pasta; Begin adding pasta to tomato mixture DO NOT ADD ALL THE PASTA!! Add enough pasta so that it is generously covered by your tomato mixture. We like to save the leftover cooked pasta for the next day. (Xia eats it with a bit EVOO, lemon juice and salt & pepper).
- Next add fresh basil and stir gently.
And voila! In about 30 minutes you have yourself a super yummy dinner the whole family will enjoy!