In the Summer it’s so nice to walk to the garden, or go to the produce section of the market and find beautiful, fresh vegetables and herbs to liven your cooking. That’s just what I did for this Garden Capunti recipe (a shape of pasta I chose because it looks like pea pods). This is a perfect, and I do mean perfect, Meatless Monday meal.
For this pasta, the fresh vegetables and herbs, fresh mozzarella, garlic and capers are marinated for a short time in red wine vinegar and a titch of olive oil. Tossed with the hot pasta and topped with toasted pine nuts and chives, this dish can be served either hot or chilled.
All of the herbs came from my Wee Kitchen Garden. I walked down there and snipped fresh basil, oregano, chives and some fresh baby spinach leaves. Little makes me happier than when I can do that and use something I’ve grown in our food.
The nice thing about summer is all of these items are also readily available in your local market or farmers’ market. Adding fresh, seasonal vegetables and herbs to your cooking makes a world of difference in flavor and nutrition.
First I toasted some pine nuts in the oven until golden brown and put a pan of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
To a bowl I added cherry tomatoes (cut in half), sweet bell peppers (cut into small squares), fresh baby spinach leaves (chopped), minced garlic, and fresh mozzarella that I cut into chunks (pearl mozzarella – little mozzarella balls would be perfect for this, too). Then I tossed in some fresh basil and oregano, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and ground black pepper.
Once you combine those ingredients, it just sits and waits for the pasta to be cooked. Once the pasta is al dente and drained, it’s added to the marinating vegetables and herbs and stirred.
I topped this with the pine nuts and fresh snipped chives. It can be served either hot or chilled and it is absolutely delicious. I hope you’ll give it a try!
- 8 ounces pasta, cooked according to package instructions for al dente (I used capunti since it is shaped like little pea pods)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped
- 1½ cups cubed sweet bell peppers
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons fresh snipped chives
- Put a saucepan of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
- In a large bowl add the tomatoes, spinach, bell peppers, mozzarella, basil, oregano, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Stir to combine.
- Set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions for al dente.
- Drain the pasta.
- Add the drained pasta to the bowl of vegetables and herbs and toss.
- Top with the toasted pine nuts and chives and serve hot, or refrigerate to serve chilled.