Growing up in our house, there was pasta on the table at least 6 days a week! You would think that one would get sick and tired of pasta but there are so many different ways Italians prepare pasta dishes that we rarely had the same thing twice in a week. This spaghetti with fresh vegetables was a household favourite. It is an easy dish to make and can be an entire meal on it’s own. This time of year is great as you can just venture out to the garden and grab fresh produce to use in your recipes. Vaianera is actually a dialect term for green beans and right now they are growing in abundance. The little bit of fresh sauce with garlic that is added brings all the flavours together to make this both a fresh summer dish or a comforting hearty plate on a chilly evening.
We used frozen roma tomatoes in this recipe to show one of many ways you can preserve tomatoes. These are awesome for little quick sauces or to add to soups and stews all winter long. Just 30 seconds in hot tap water and the skins come off in one piece! You can, of course, use fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes if you don’t have frozen ones. We suggest 2 tablespoons of garlic but this dish can handle more without overpowering flavours so if you’re a lover of garlic feel free to add more! My mom typically mashes some of the potatoes just after turning off the stove to thicken the juice a little. You don’t need to do this but it’s an option.
- 225 grams spaghetti
- 4-5 medium-large potatoes.
- 1 pint, roughly two cups, grean beans cleaned
- 2 medium size zucchini
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 8 roma tomatoes peeled and chopped, fresh/frozen or 1 can chopped tomatoes
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over high heat and add the chopped garlic. When the garlic starts to brown add the tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir and continue to simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. The sauce should cook until the water from the tomatoes dissipates, roughly 15-20 minutes.
- Prepare a large pot with 3 litres of cold water. Peel the potatoes and chop each one into 6 chunks. Place them in the pot and bring to a boil. After the potatoes boil for 8 minutes, add the grean beans and cook for another 6 minutes. Chop the zucchini into chunks and add to the pot. Bring it back to a boil and immediately add the spaghetti, broken in half. Add the remaining salt and cook for half the suggested cooking time on the package of spaghetti. Remove 1 litre of liquid (unless you like it really soupy) and add the tomato sauce. Continue to boil until the pasta is cooked and serve.
- If you would like to thicken the juice a little bit, mash up some of the potatoes with a fork before serving. This makes quite a bit, half of this recipe would feed a family of 4.