Some days, you just need a little bit of pasta… garlic veggie pasta over whole wheat spaghetti

Does anyone else have the extreme issue of attempting to make pasta for just yourself and ending up with enough pasta to feed a family of five? It happens. Thank god for tupperware. Or hungry roommates.

I’m not a big pasta eater, mostly because when I eat a lot of it, I start to feel bloat-y and overly full. But every now and then, a nice big plate of pasta is the only thing I can imagine eating. An occasional carbo-load never hurt anyone.

I especially like this pasta dish because there’s no cheese and it mostly just consists of vegetables. I like to imagine the pasta as a grain replacement (like quinoa or rice) and it makes me feel better about it. That, and when it’s whole wheat, organic, nongmo, etc….

For those days when you just need to fill your belly with some comfort food… try this out!


Garlic Veggie Pasta over Whole Wheat

serves 1


1 cup cooked whole wheat spaghetti

1/2 cup chopped cauliflower

1/2 cup chopped zucchini

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely diced

1/8 teaspoon dried chili flakes

3 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

OPTIONAL: a tablespoon of parmesan (for a little extra flavor)

**Note: for this recipe, it’s easiest if you have the pasta already cooked and all the vegetables chopped before you start.

1. Put a pan over medium heat and add 1/2 teaspoon. add in the cauliflower and saute for about 5 minutes. After five minutes, add in the zucchini and tomatoes. Sprinkle the salt on top of all of the veggies and saute for 5 minutes.

2. Remove the veggies and add in the garlic and the rest of the olive oil. Saute until you can start to smell the garlic or until it starts to turn slightly golden. Sprinkle in the chili flakes and add the cooked pasta. Turn off the heat and toss the pasta until it is fully coated in olive oil. Add the vegetables back in as well as the thinly sliced basil. Toss to combine everything. Add parmesan on top at the end if you like!



Roasted Harvest Vegetable Penne Pasta

Now that summer is over and school is back in session, I’ve gotten in the mood for some root vegetables and fall squashes. This pasta is one of the tastiest pastas that I have ever made in my life. What’s great is that it was just a creation from my imagination and a minimally stocked fridge! My boyfriend, Trevor, and I devoured this meal after a long day of classes (we’re both science majors-he’s a physiology major and I’m a nutrition major). This is definitely one that needs to be tried out ASAP! 

Try the recipe and let me know what you think! Praise and critiques are equally welcome! 

Roasted Harvest Vegetable Penne Pasta


Serves 2

Total time: 1 hour-ish

1 small butternut squash

1/2 of a small yam

1 carrot

5 garlic cloves

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

1 vine tomato (or two if the tomatoes are small)

1 leek

5 tablespoons canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon goat cheese (creamy)

1 1/3 cup whole wheat penne


First things first, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees. Next, I chopped the butternut squashcarrot, and yam into small 1/2 inch cubes. Make sure to peal the butternut squash before dicing it. The easiest way to do this is to first cut the squash in half so that the bulb and the longer part are separate. Put the longer part of the squash cut side down and use your knife to cut the skin off of the squash. Be careful for your fingers! 

I put all of the cut vegetables into a large plastic bag. Next, I peeled the garlic and smashed them using a garlic press. If you don’t have one, then just dice the garlic into fine pieces. I then added the chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. to the plastic bag. I shook the bag to get everything covered equally. You can do this step earlier in the day or even the day before. The longer the vegetables “marinate” in the garlic mixture, the better the flavor.

Next, I poured the vegetable mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and put it in the oven. You’ll want to keep the vegetables in the oven for around 40 minutes with the last 2 minutes on broil to crisp the veggies up. If you’re veggies are already sufficiently crispy, you can skip the broil step. 

While the veggies were cooking, I began to prepare the sauce. I chopped the leek into small pieces and put them into a pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. While this began to cook, I cut the tomato into small 1 inch cubes. After the leeks had been cooking for a minute or so, I added the tomato and the canned pumpkin (5 tablespoons of it). I also added the 1 teaspoon of chili flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of thyme. I let this mixture cook at a medium temperature for about 7 minutes and then added the 1/4 cup chicken broth. 

While this cooked, I took out a pot and filled it with water and a pinch of salt. I put the pot over a medium high heat until it reached a boil and then added in my whole wheat pasta. I cooked this for 17 minutes (just follow the cooking instructions on the package). 

With my tomato, leek, pumpkin mixture, I put it into a blender and blended it until smooth. I then returned it back to the pan to remain warm. I added salt and pepper to taste and stirred in the goat cheese until it was fully melted in.

Once the pasta was done, I added it to the sauce and mixed it until every piece was covered with sauce. I then transferred the pasta to plates, removed the vegetables from the oven and added them on top! And Ta-Da! You’ve got roasted harvest vegetable penne pasta!

This recipe was so great and was really a lot less effort than I made it sound (I just like to be very detailed…). If you don’t have time to make this during the week, it’s definitely something that you need to try on the weekend. 

I literally licked my plate after the pasta was finished. I’ll be making this a few more times in the next month…

Let me know what you think!