Pasta Fresca

This is my spin on the Pasta Fresca dish served at Noodles and Company.  Not only is it delicious, but it's a great way to use some of the zucchini and cherry tomatoes we have growing in our garden.

Pasta Fresca
(serves 4)

8oz GF pasta (I like Trader Joe's organic brown rice pasta)
1 medium zucchini cut into bite size pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 cup baby spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced onion
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon better than bouillon chicken base
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Get your pasta water going first so that you can get everything else prepared and cooked while the pasta is boiling.  Cook pasta as directed on package.  Steam zucchini for 5-7 minutes (while the pasta is cooking so they finish together.  You could boil you zucchini with your pasta if you'd like, but sometimes it gets a bit mushy for my taste.)

In a saute pan on medium heat, heat oil and add minced garlic.  Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  You don't want the garlic to burn.  Add onion, balsamic vinegar, water, and bouillon. Reduce heat and simmer until onions are soft, about 7 minutes.  Add red pepper flakes.  Season with salt and pepper if desired.  

When pasta is cooked, drain water.  Add pasta, zucchini, tomatoes and spinach to the balsamic vinegar mixture and combine. (Spinach will wilt from the heat). Serve with parmesan cheese.

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