This pasta is easy to make, healthy and delicious. It is absolutely bursting with fresh vegetables and the simple tomato sauce comes together in just a few minutes. It's a meal that the whole family will love.
- 6 quarts water, for boiling
- 2/3 cup zucchini, sliced crosswise in 1/2-inch pieces
- 2/3 cup eggplant cut in 1/2 inch cubes
- 2/3 cup green beans, trimmed and sliced on the bias in 3/4-inch lengths
- 2/3 cup bell peppers, cut in thin slices
- 2/3 cup celery stalks, peeled and cut in thin strips
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/2 cup sliced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cups ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into strips or 2 cups of ripe cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 leaves basil, shredded
- 1/2 cup grated Grana Padano cheese
1. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. In the meantime, prepare a bowl with ice water. When the water is boiling, dump the vegetables in the boiling water. Bring the water back to a boil, and cook uncovered for 2 minutes. Scoop out the pieces with a strainer, drain briefly and drop into the ice water. When thoroughly chilled, drain them in a colander.
2. In the meantime, begin making the sauce. In a wide skillet with the olive oil, scatter the onion slices and crushed garlic cloves. Cook for 2 minutes over medium heat until the onions are wilted.
3. Pour the sliced tomatoes and juices into the skillet. Bring all to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Drop the pasta into the boiling water while the sauce cooks.
5. Add the blanched vegetables to the skillet and stir them into the sauce, adding 1 cup of pasta water and the salt. Bring all to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes or more, until the blanched vegetables are cooked thoroughly but still al dente. In the last two minutes add the shrimp. If the sauce too dry, add a little more pasta water.
6. Drain the pasta when cooked and add to the skillet with the sauce. Add in the shredded basil and toss together. Drizzle the mixture with extra virgin olive oil and let the pasta and sauce cook together for a few minutes.
7. When the pasta is well coated with sauce, remove from the heat. Toss in the grated cheese and serve.