Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pasta with Creamy Veggies

Wanting a quick dinner, I used this recipe of Rachel Ray's as a base and modified the ingredients to suit what I had on hand. The result is a yummy, wholesome pasta with lots of veggies and a creamy taste.



Penne (or any pasta) - 6 to 8 oz [I used half whole wheat pasta]
Onion - 1 medium, sliced thinly and into 1 inch pieces
Garlic - 2 to 3 cloves, minced
Spinach - 6 to 8 oz (frozen, chopped)
Tomato - 1/2 chopped
Sun-dried tomatoes - 6 halves, reconstituted in boiling water for 5 mins
Zucchini - 1 medium, sliced into half-moons
Bell Peppers - 1 medium, sliced thin
Carrot - 1, slivered into thin matchsticks or Mushrooms - 8 sliced
Milk - 1/2 cup
Vegetable stock - 1/2 cup
Cream cheese - 3 to 4 oz
Parmesan cheese / Pepper jack cheese - 1/4 cup or more to taste
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
All purpose flour (maida) - 1 tbsp
Red Chilli flakes - 1 tsp
Dried Basil leaves - 1 tsp
Hot Sauce (Sriracha) - to taste (optional)
Salt and pepper - to taste

1) In a big pan, heat up lots of water for the pasta and when it boils season with salt and cook the pasta in it until al-dente. Reserve about a cup of pasta water and drain it.

2) Meanwhile, in a big, deep skillet, heat the olive oil and add the garlic and onions first.. cook till the brown a bit, next add the zucchini, bell peppers, carrots (or mushrooms) and saute till the vegetables are tender.

3) Defrost the spinach and wring it so it gets dry. Break it up with your hands and add to the vegetable mixture, along with chopped tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and red chilli flakes.

4) When the veggies are cooked sufficiently, sprinkle the flour and stir for a few minutes before adding the vegetable stock and milk. This will thicken quite rapidly... Add in the softened cream cheese at this point and season with salt and pepper.

5) Add in the cooked pasta, dried basil and the cheese with some hot sauce (if using). Toss this together until the flavours get combined. Add some of the reserved, starchy pasta water if you feel it's drying out. Topp with more fresh basil if desired. Creamy Pasta with a load of veggies is now ready and all done in one pot!


  1. love pasta:)urs loooks delicious and healthy

  2. Pretty fav pasta Laavi gonna make this tonight and your Tomato dosa tomorrow night :) Thanks for letting me know about the rice..

  3. Nice wholesome meal. I think Italian cuisine is one of my favorites, next only to Indian.:-)

  4. Hmmmm, what a delicious looking dish that is! The title and the picture are so tempting. Am drooling over it and v hungry now!

  5. The pasta looks so creamy and shiny! I really love the texture. Delicious.

  6. Penne looks wonderful and creamy :)

  7. I made this for dinner Laavi, it was very tasty and creamy indeed...thanks for the recipe!! :)

  8. Thats so yum! I can literalli feel the taste in my mouth looking at that picture... Great one Laav.

  9. I always love cooked pasta in a creamy base.I want to take it with a spoon now.. :)

  10. I love pasta and the way Rachael Ray cooks it. Looks great Laav.
    Now if only my husband could eat it as a dinner *sigh**

  11. delicious looking pasta...must have tasted great..creamy and cheesy...

  12. cream cheese for the sauce is a great idea. goat cheese may work too. lovely recipe.

  13. that looks yummy. i had a calorie-full dinner at little italy yesterday night and i am still reeling from the effect :)


  15. I'm making this for tonight's dinner - thats how much I want to eat it! Thanks for posting!

  16. A wholesome, filling meal indeed....

  17. i want to grab it laavanya..Nice Recipe..i got to get used to many ingredients you have specified ther. but any way iam going to try a simple version of this.

  18. Wow that looks creamy...I love the taste sun-dried tomatoes lend to pasta!

  19. the pasta looks yum...delicious and sure going to try this out.

  20. u can nver get tired of such recipes:) and i loved the idea of using cream cheese here...

  21. whoaa! that is a whole lot of yum stuff in that pasta :)

  22. Thank you Dhivya & Divya.

    Namratha.. that was super fast. Glad to know you liked it and thank you so much for the (super-prompt) feedback. Let me know how you liked the tomato dosas.

    TBC, thanks.. true.. there are so many good options with Italian food - all tasty too.

    Thank you Mona, Uma, Cham & Seema.

    Seena, I like creamy pastas too.

    RC, quite a few of her dishes turn out good and they have onion, garlic and some spice too. Thanks. Thankfully my husband has no problem with this one.. he can be picky too sometimes.

    Thank you Sowmya.

    Bee, I've never tried goat cheese so far.. does it taste like feta?

    Nags, i always order mushroom ravioli with cream sauce and tiramisu and usually am reeling like you too :)

    Thank you SMN & Jayashree.

    Miri, That's nice to know.. Hope you get a chance to try it.

    Lavi, you could add some cream instead and change it to what's available on hand.. am sure it will work.

    Rachel me too.. i'm a big fan of sun-dried tomatoes.

    Thank you Saswati - hope you do.

    Sia, it adds a tang and creaminess and i usually have some low fat cream cheese in my fridge.

    Thanks EC & Raks.

  23. hi...looks yummy...

  24. I once used leftover paneer curry as a pasta sauce! For some reason, the greens in your pasta remind me of gongura!

  25. Hi Laavanya,

    I had never quite mastered the art of making idlis until I happened upon your detailed instructions. This was all the more embarassing since every one assumes I must make fabulous idlis since I am from Chennai. Now I wince no more when the topic of idlis comes around. I can happily lay claim to "malli poo" like idlis thanks to you!!! Thank you so much. Keep up the great work!!!


  26. Hey..pasta looks so good, mouth watering...

  27. a veggie delight with cream a carbs!!
    what a meal !!!

  28. Cream cheese sounds great with pasta! This looks so wonderful, Laavanya! :)

  29. that looks wonderful Laavi! I guess one can trust RR completely for italian and pasta dishes:)

  30. Not really a big fan of Rachel Ray but the dish looks delicious!

  31. Penne looks so inviting. It reminds me of Olive garden pasta. Its a very nice recipe. I love italian food. penne is one of my fav.

  32. deleciousssss pasta recipe lavanya,love it yummmmmmmmm

  33. Wow! i just love pasta.. cant wait to try this out..
    Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope ur enjoy my recipes :)

  34. Lovely pasta dish:) I too love penne pasta which is the first pasta I purchased till now:)

  35. Bertolli makes a pretty good version of pasta with veggies and chicken. They also have a contest going on now: watch homemade videos on the Bertolli site: ( and vote for your favorite. You could even win a trip to New York.

  36. I dont like pasta. Even the pasta looks yummy...i want to try this out. Thanks for nice dish

  37. hey the pasta looks delicious....would love to c u on my blog..

  38. Hi Lavanya,

    Pasta recipie is great. I made this for lunch today and it came out very well.

    I used Ricotta Cheese instead of normal one and I wanted to mention that basil gave that special smell and touch.

    Thank You!

  39. where do we get sriracha and sun dried tomatoes

  40. Varsha, I'm not sure where you live.. in the US, Sriracha is quite easily found in Vietnamese/Chinese markets (like Hmart, Grandmart etc.). Sun dried tomatoes are available at most grocery stores.. some are packed in oil and there are also dried up versions. Both these can be skipped in this dish and still have good results. The sriracha can be substituted with Maggi chilli sauce.

  41. omgg!
    I just discovered ur blog and been hooked... just made some awesome vegetable pasta for lunch.. My 2 YR OLD and his dad were left licking thier fingers!
    Thank uu so much lavanya!


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