When I was little, my brother and I used to know the Veggie Tales theme song by heart.
“If you like to talk to tomatoes
If a squash can make you smile
If you like to waltz with potatoes
Up and down the produce aisle…”
My most memorable conversation wasn’t with a tomato, and my favorite dance partner isn’t exactly a potato, but vegetables do make me smile. No, I’m not a vegetarian; I still enjoy the sizzling sound of meat in a frying pan and the flavor that only the browned bits of meat can bring to a dish. But there’s something about vegetables, even the ones that aren’t named Larry and sing silly songs, that make me happy. Maybe it’s their vibrant colors, or their earthy flavors, or that they’re just as tasty raw as cooked. But I must confess, I crave a plate full of veggies more often than a slab of meat…
A few days ago, I really wanted zucchini. Typically, I won’t eat this particular veggie raw because I find that its flavor is just slightly too subtle. This time was no different; I chopped it into bite-sized pieces, threw it into a pan, and watched it turn a pretty pale yellow. With a hint of salt and pepper, it was the perfect addition to my pasta with tomato sauce.
serves 1 small-ish person
Increase or decrease the amounts of any ingredients depending on how hungry you are. Use your favorite pasta and tomato sauce; mine just happen to be whole-wheat rotini and a spicy basil tomato sauce.
½ medium zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces
¾ c. dry pasta
¼ c. tomato sauce
generous sprinkling of Parmesian cheese
- Fill a pot halfway with water, bring to a boil, and cook pasta according to the package’s directions. Drain.
- Heat 2-3 tsp olive oil in a pan. Add zucchini and a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and cook until pale yellow and still slightly al dente, stirring often.
- Place the tomato sauce in a bowl and cover with a paper towel to prevent any exploding messes. Heat in the microwave.
- Combine pasta, zucchini, tomato sauce, and Parmesian cheese in a bowl. Serve warm so the cheese melts and makes long, delicious strings.