Creamy Greens Pasta

There’s really no substitute for a dish like this. It’s fresh and flavorful, and highlights simple flavors. It’s also–don’t tell the kids–healthy.

Of course, the kids might guess anyway. The central focus of this dish is, after all, a whole lotta veggies. Full of vitamins and minerals and all sorts of good stuff. But mostly, just plain yummy. I love the variety of veggies in this dish, and they all add something to its texture: the crunch of asparagus, the delightful squirt of a grape tomato, the sweet peppers and basil. On their own, each of them is a great set of notes; together, it’s a symphony.

The veggies are complimented by the whole wheat pasta and pine nuts, both of which give a depth of flavor and complexity to this recipe while still keeping it simple. I happen to love the taste of whole wheat pasta much more than traditional pasta, and the high fiber content of the pasta (and vegetables) makes this both filling and light. But if you don’t like the taste of whole wheat pasta, or if you’re on a tight budget, try it with regular ol’ penne. Still pretty darn good.

The “creamy” in the title isn’t the same type of creamy as an alfredo sauce. It’s less intense than that; almost too light to be called a “sauce.” The showcase is still the veggies. So if you’re looking for something decadent, heavy, something to weigh you down, this isn’t it. Instead, this is a fresh dish perfect for that January detox. Or for anyone looking for a scrumptious-but-waistline-friendly dish.

Just don’t tell the kids it’s healthy.