I’m sure I’m not the only one that has a hard time getting their kids to eat veggies. My daughter usually won’t even come close to trying one. However, this pasta dish is a big hit with everyone in our family. With all the flavors from the sauce and parmesan cheese, you really don’t notice all the wonderful vegetables in this.
This is also super easy to make! Just one pot for the pasta and a skillet to make the sauce. Probably the most time consuming thing is cutting up the veggies but you can always do this ahead of time and put them in the freezer or fridge until you’re ready!
Start off by cutting and prepping the vegetables. Make sure to cut the zucchini into thick chunks so that they don’t get too mushy when you cook them.
Now, start to boil a pot of water for the pasta. Cook the pasta for 10 minutes. Then, add the broccoli, cover and continue boiling for another 3-4 minutes. This is such an easy way to cook the broccoli and it comes out perfect – not too hard or too soft.
Once that’s done, drain it and return it to the pot. Add in the spinach and toss. Let it sit for a few minutes to let the spinach wilt.
While the pasta is boiling, you can cook the veggies. In a skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil and throw in the red peppers and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the veggies are slightly soft.
Once done, remove from heat and add the veggies to the pot of pasta, broccoli and spinach once that’s done. Add the lemon zest. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over everything and toss. This will help prevent the noodles from sticking together.
In the same skillet you will make the sauce. First, add the butter and cook over medium/low heat. Once the butter is mostly melted, add the minced garlic, pesto and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Then, remove from heat and add the lemon juice.
Pour the sauce into the pot over the pasta and veggies. Add in the parmesan cheese and mix it together well. Serve immediately and garnish with more parmesan, salt and/or pepper if desired.
I hope your family enjoys it as much as ours does! 🙂
Lemon Veggie Pasta with Parmesan Cheese
This is an awesome dish full of veggies! The sauce adds lots of flavor. It's sure to be a dish your whole family will love.
- 1 lb gemelli pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 zucchini's
- 1 red pepper
- 1 head broccoli
- 1 cup spinach (packed)
- lemon zest from one lemon
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 stick butter
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 3/4 cup pesto
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- lemon juice squeezed from one lemon
Prepare veggies. Chop the red pepper and broccoli. Cut the zucchini into larger chunks (so they don't get mushy when you cook them). Rip up the spinach into slightly smaller pieces if yours have large leaves.
Boil pasta for 10 minutes. Then, add in the broccoli, cover, and continue boiling for 3 more minutes. (You may need to turn the heat down here just a bit to avoid bubbling over.) Once done, drain. Then, transfer back to the pot. Add spinach and toss. Leave alone for a few minutes to let spinach wilt.
While the pasta is cooking, put about a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and saute the red peppers and zucchini over medium heat until they are slightly soft (about five minutes). Add some salt and pepper for flavoring. Once done, transfer them to the pot of pasta.
In the same skillet, add the stick of butter and cook over medium/low heat, Once it starts to melt, add the pesto, minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute for a few minutes, until everything is mixed together well. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Stir and then pour the sauce over the pasta and veggies.
Add the parmesan cheese and toss everything together. Serve immediately and garnish with a little more parmesan, salt and/or pepper if desired.