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Over the past month, I’ve been making a lot of dishes using the produce coming out of our garden and what I’ve found at the farmer’s markets. One of my favorite summer meals is pasta with a bunch of fresh vegetables. Below I present you with two variations on a theme, both of which are deliciously simple.

I intended on getting this post up for Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free since the theme was “Dishes so Simple, No Recipe Required” but alas, I procrastinated and didn’t get it up. Regardless, go over to GF Easily and check out the other un-recipes.

Balsamic Vegetable Pasta

Quick Summer Pasta

Original by Renee

No measurements here, just go with what feels and tastes(!) right.

Gluten Free Pasta, my favorite brand is Tinkyada (which is also sold cheaper as Trader Joe’s house brand of brown rice pasta).

Chopped heirloom tomatoes (Yay for Green Zebras – the birds don’t try to eat them since they’re green, and leave half-eaten, beautiful red toms hanging on the vine)

Chickpeas, cooked/canned, drained and rinsed

Feta cheese, crumbled – I had picked up some lovely marinated goat feta from Sweetwoods Dairy at the farmer’s market

A drizzle of olive oil

Fresh basil – lots of it!

Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper

Cook pasta and drain. Toss with remaining ingredients.

Balsamic Vegetable Pasta

Original by Renee

Again, no measurements but I wanted more vegetables than pasta in this one.

Gluten Free Pasta – see above

Onion, halved and thinly sliced, either red or white will work

Balsamic vinegar

Chickpeas, canned/cooked, rinsed and drained

Heirloom tomatoes, chopped – lots of them!

Feta or goat cheese, crumbled

Olive oil

Basil – lots of it!

Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper

Cook pasta (gluten free pasta needs a lot of water to move around in!). Drain and rinse.

In a large skillet, heat a bit of olive oil. Add in the sliced onion and cook over medium heat. Turn down and let the onions start to carmelize a bit and then drizzle some balsamic vinegar over them. Add in the chickpeas and let them heat through, stirring occasionally, and adding a bit more balsamic if you want.

Toss onions and chickpeas into a  large bowl. Add in the tomatoes, basil and feta, toss gently. Add in pasta (I wanted more veggies, less pasta in this version). Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and add salt and pepper (and/or more vinegar) to taste.

Notes:

* Sometimes I also saute a red sweet bell pepper with the onions.

* Kalamata olives and/or toasted pine nuts are a nice addition.

* Parmesan cheese instead of feta or goat cheese works too. So many variations!

* Mix it up to fit your taste buds!

What’s your favorite quick summer pasta combination?

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This is another of our tried and true recipes; the recipe card is well splattered. It also garnered a “very good” written on the top of the card. I am not sure where I originally found this recipe as I wrote it on a 3×5 card and did not note the source. I searched the internet for the same recipe and only found a few similar recipes but none that matched this exactly. The original recipe calls for more curry paste and fewer chickpeas than what I use. Below is my adaptation of this tasty recipe. We like to serve this over white basmati rice.

Creamy Chickpea Curry

1 Tbsp oil

2 tsp red curry paste *

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic. minced

1 – 14 oz can lite coconut milk *

1 Tbsp soy sauce *

1-2 Tbsp sugar

2 – 15 oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1-2 medium tomatoes, chopped (or 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved)

1 cup fresh basil, torn

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add curry paste and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add onion and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for a minute more. Shake the can of coconut milk and pour into pan. Add soy sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the sugar, chickpeas and tomatoes. Heat until it is simmering once more. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Serve over rice.

Notes:

* Red curry paste can be found in small jars in the Asian section of a large supermarket. I use Thai Kitchen brand. Two teaspoons makes us sweat, but comfortably so. If you don’t like things too spicy, start with 1 teaspoon the first time.

* I prefer to use lite coconut milk when cooking and I can’t tell a difference in flavor.

* Use a gluten free soy sauce if you are cooking gluten free. LaChoy and San-J Wheat Free Tamari are both gluten free.

This recipe was a part of Meal Plan Monday, check it out for more ideas.

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