Gather the best summer vegetables for this tasty penne pasta dish. The sauce is filled with eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers and ripe tomatoes and finished with a little cream. If you can’t find really fresh, ripe tomatoes, use good-quality canned plum tomatoes.

Helpful Hints:

• Any type of short cut pastas such as fusilli, elbows and rigatoni can be used instead of penne.

• All green or all red bell pepper can be used instead of using both.

• 5 garlic cloves can be used instead of minced garlic.

Countdown:

• Prepare all ingredients.

• Put water for pasta on to boil.

• Make sauce.

Shopping List:

• 1 small eggplant, 1 small zucchini, 1 small red bell pepper, 1 small green bell pepper, 1 small jar minced garlic, 8 plum tomatoes, 1 container heavy cream, 1 package penne pasta, 1 small bunch fresh basil, 1 small package broken walnuts and 1 small piece Parmesan cheese.

• Staples: olive oil, onion, salt and black peppercorns.

 

SUMMER HARVEST PENNE PASTA

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cups sliced onion

1 cup eggplant cubes about 1/2 inch (with skin)

1 1/2 cups zucchini cubes about 1/2 inch

1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper

1/2 cup sliced green bell pepper

3 teaspoons minced garlic

1 1/2 cups quartered plum tomatoes

2 tablespoons heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 pound penne pasta (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup broken walnuts

1/2 cup fresh basil torn into small pieces

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Place a large pot filled with water for the pasta on to boil. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggplant, zucchini, red and green bell peppers. Saute 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes and continue to cook 5 minutes. Add the cream and salt and pepper to taste. Blend well.

When the water comes to a boil, add the penne and boil 10 minutes. It should be cooked through but firm. Drain and divide between two dinner plates. Spoon the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with walnuts, basil and parmesan cheese.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 657 calories (45% from fat), 33 g fat (7.1 g saturated, 9.2 g monounsaturated), 25 mg cholesterol, 23.3 g protein, 74 g carbohydrates, 10.9 g fiber, 212 mg sodium.

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer