Beat the heat with this simple and easy-to-prepare pasta dish. This delicious, marinated tomato “sauce” is more like a salsa and it can be made up to two days in advance. While most recipes call for cooking the garlic, the pungent yet flavor-forward raw garlic contains active compounds, which can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.
Learn how to make a vegetable-forward meal in under 20 minutes.
LEVEL UPS (OPTIONAL)
Top with toasted pine nuts for crunch and more fiber. Add chilled corn off the cob for additional whole grain, fiber and color. Choose whole grain pasta for even more fiber. Cherry tomatoes are available in several colors for an extra pop of color.
Buy or make your own zucchini noodles for a healthier option. Marinate them for 10 minutes prior to eating in 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp lemon juice and pinch each of salt and pepper. The feta cheese can be replaced with crumbly Cotija, flavorful Pecorino or umami-rich Parmesan. Substitute 1 cup of thinly sliced green onions in place of the sweet onion. Mix in extra protein-rich foods such as shredded chicken or garbanzo beans.
Large pot for cooking pasta Colander for draining and rinsing pasta Bowl for marinating the tomatoes Chef’s knife Cutting board
- 8 ounces dried whole wheat or white spaghetti or angel hair pasta, cooked according to the manufacture’s directions
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- ½ of a medium sweet onion, diced ¼ inch thick (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced or grated (about 1 Tbsp)
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp salt + more to taste
- 12 basil leaves, cut into very thin ribbons (also known as “chiffonade”)
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to manufacturer’s directions. Drain in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Toss with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and place in the refrigerator. The pasta can be cooked up to 2 days in advance.
- While the pasta is cooking, toss together the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil, cherry tomatoes, sweet onion, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and three-quarters of the basil.
- Divide the pasta onto serving plates or bowl. Top with the marinated tomato mixture and sprinkle with the remaining basil and feta cheese.