While I love to cook, side dishes always seem to throw me for a loop. Isn’t it enough that I’m cooking a main course? Now I ALSO have to figure out what to cook as a complimentary side dish? That seems like a lot of work! Luckily, I came up with this recipe which can double as either an entree or a side dish! Fresh and lightly dressed pasta tossed with fresh vegetables makes for a bright and delicious vegetarian dish. I had broccoli and tomatoes on hand, but any veggies you have in the fridge would work.
Simply cook up the veggies, cook up the pasta and mix them together with a light dressing of lemon juice and olive oil. This is the perfect side dish for fish, poultry or meat. I especially love pairing the pasta with salmon or shrimp since lemon and fish are a match made in heaven! Top the veggie pasta with a little grated Parmesan (or a lot, in my case) and a light, easy dinner is ready to go in 30 minutes.
12 ounces linguine* (plain, whole wheat, etc.)
*for gluten-free diets, use packaged gluten-free pasta
1 clove garlic, minced
1 head of fresh broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 medium tomato, chopped
Juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt/pepper to taste
1. Boil water in a medium pot and cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Steam broccoli florets in the microwave by placing florets in a microwave-safe dish along with 1-2 Tbsp water. Cover and microwave for 1-2 minutes until florets have softened and are bright green in color. Or, steam florets using a pot and steamer.
3. Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray and add garlic, sauteing until fragrant.
4. Add steamed broccoli and tomatoes and saute for 3-4 minutes.
5. Add drained pasta to the pan, drizzling with olive oil and lemon juice.
6. Toss to coat pasta and veggies with olive oil/lemon juice mixture.
7. Season with salt/pepper to taste. Top with grated Parmesan cheese (optional). Transfer to serving bowls and serve immediately.
Recipe: Lighten Up Recipes
Photography: Lighten Up Recipes