I love Pasta Wednesday! And I can probably spin out a different variety of pasta, mushrooms and vegetable indefinitely! John and I have really grown to prefer the taste of whole grain pasta (Barilla) and it is better for us, so win-win. Always cook pasta in water salted so it tastes like the ocean as the TV chefs say. This is good advice if you live near a coast but middle America is probably wondering, wha? Plus drain it just short of done because you are going to put it in the pan with the vegetables and cook it a little more.
Here is our routine for Pasta Wednesday. I cut up all the veggies while John fills and salts the water, weighs out our portion (3 oz. of pasta each), and gets out all the things I have a hard time reaching in our cabinets like pepper flakes, oregano, and olive oil. He brings the water to a boil while I cook the mushrooms, onion, and kale stems. When the mushrooms and onions are cooked enough he puts the pasta in for six or seven minutes. I put the spices in with the veg. With two minutes to go on the pasta I add the kale leaves. He drains the pasta reserving at least a half cup of pasta water and drops the penne into my veg. I stir it all around over medium-high heat and add the pasta water and a little olive oil and we are done.
This dinner comes together in about 15 minutes and always tastes great. John garnishes his with toasted pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and additional olive oil. I do not have the luxury of adding extra calories so I have mine without the embellishments. It tastes really good anyway.