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Pasta Mediterraneo

It all begins Al Fresco.

Dining outdoors under blue summer skies summoning all that is classic Mediterranean good food and good company.

This dish started all. My kids love pasta. I know whose kids' don't!

It was hot out and I wanted them to have a little more than just carbs and tomato sauce for dinner.

I had some Broccolini in the fridge and some Zucchini. Along with their other favorites of Kalamata Olives, Capers, Sun dried Tomatoes, Arugula, and Basil. There was also Queen of cheese, Feta hiding in the back of the fridge and I thought, hmmm what about some beans for added protein....My first go around, and for years to follow, I used Garbanzo beans. About a year ago, I was out of Garbanzo beans, substituted Cannellini Beans instead. I actually love it better! But, both work great!

I grilled the zucchini and diced it up. I steamed the broccolini and mini sized them into bite-size florets. Minced, diced, sliced and chiffonade the rest. Tossed it all together with fresh lemon juice olive oil, salt & pepper ~ Et Voila, this delicious dish was born. It's been a fan favorite ever since.

You can use any short tube pasta you like; so many fun shapes out there. Just follow the package directions to reach exactly al dente.

Here's the method. You can add or omit any of the veggies or condiments. I also add marinated artichokes from time to time or even anchovies....deliciouso!

1 lb Short Tube pasta of your liking. For example: Penne, Rigatoni, Farfalla, Orecchiette, Cavatappi, Radiatore and so many more.... cooked and drained according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water

1/2-1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 - 3/4 cup sliced Sun dried tomatoes

1/2 - 3/4 cup sliced kalamata olives

1/4 - 1/2 cup capers

1/2-1 cup sliced grape tomatoes

1 cup grilled and sliced zucchini or broccolini florets or both!

2-4 garlic cloves - minced

1/2 cup diced or julienne red onion ( to your liking)

1/2 cup chiffonade fresh basil

1-2 cups fresh arugula

1 can Cannellini Beans drained or Garbanzo Beans drained

Crumbled French Feta - to taste

Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder - to taste

Juice of 1 large juicy lemon

Add all ingredients to drained pasta except for feta.

Toss, season.

Taste for seasoning. Add if necessary.

If pasta seems dry - add a little bit of the pasta water to loosen and create a sauce-y like consistency with the olive oil. Top with crumbled Feta, chili Flakes and Parmesan Cheese, if you'd like a little more zing!

** optional add roasted sliced peppers, anchovy or marinated artichokes to create your own pasta mediterraneo!

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