Spring produce offers a delicious variety of vegetables to include in pasta dishes. Spinach, asparagus, green beans and peas are all nutritious spring vegetables that contribute to a healthy diet and pair well with pasta dishes. A healthy, balanced diet includes eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, avoid red and processed meats, limit sugary foods and minimizing alcohol consumption. Eating habits impact overall health and healthy eating habits aid in cancer prevention.
Not all pasta is the same. For this Bright Spring Pasta recipe challenge yourself to try whole grain pasta – the healthiest choice available. The USDA recommends 2-3 servings of grains a day with at least half being whole grains. Whole grains are full of nutrients, support a healthy body weight and aid in reducing risk to numerous diseases. When picking out a pasta in your local grocery, look for the word whole next to the grain as one of the first ingredients listed.
Using a whole grain pasta will add a richer taste and chewier texture than regular pasta. What are you waiting for?
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1 lb. whole wheat pasta – spaghetti or linguini
1 lb. asparagus
1 lb. yellow (summer) squash / use zucchini if yellow squash is unavailable
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Zest 1 lemon
1/2 cup Pine Nuts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
4 tbsp. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Cook whole grain pasta according to directions on the package. Set aside.
Cut asparagus into two inch sections and slice yellow squash into strips lengthwise.
Set on a baking sheet and drizzle with 3 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.
In a large saucepan cook garlic with 1 tbsp. of olive oil for three minutes (without browning). Add lemon zest, parsley and pine nuts to heat through, 2-3 minutes.
Toss cooked pasta and roasted vegetables in the saucepan.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Dust with parmesan cheese once served and enjoy.
To learn more about cancer prevention and healthy eating visit preventcancer.org.