30-Minute Dinner/ all dinner recipes/ pasta/ vegetarian dinner

Pasta with zucchini, red bell pepper, tomatoes, and feta cheese

26 February 2018 | Last Updated: 23 February 2020

A delicious and quick vegetarian pasta full of vegetables. Crispy zucchini and bell pepper in tomato and feta cheese sauce. Seasoned with lots of garlic and herbs. Feta cheese adds a punch of flavor! It’s one of our go-to quick weeknight dinners.

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Pasta with zucchini, red bell pepper, tomatoes, and feta cheese on a white plate
vegetable pasta is being stick on a fork

Ingredients:

  • Vegetables – my favorite vegetables for this recipe are zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes but feel free to swap them for other vegetables you have on hand! Corn, broccoli would also go great. Don’t omit the tomatoes – they make the sauce.
  • Tomatoes – use fresh tomatoes when they’re in season or canned tomatoes out of the season.
  • Seasonings – lots of garlic (no worries, it’s not very garlicky, chopped garlic is less pungent than pressed through a garlic press), dried herbs (I’m using either Italian or French seasoning), fresh herbs (I’m sprinkling the dish with fresh basil leaves, instead of basil, you can use thyme).
  • Feta cheese – makes the sauce so flavorful. It cannot be omitted in this recipe !
  • Pasta – you can use any kind, like tagliatelle, spaghetti, fusilli.
  • Make it with meat – you can pan-fry a chicken breast with some herbs and serve on the side.
vegetable pasta ingredients

How to make it step by step:

Start with cooking 5.3 oz (150g) pasta al dente (it should have a bite to it, you don‘t need a lot of water, it must be well salted, don‘t add any olive oil to it). Reserve about 1/3 cup of pasta cooking water (it has a lot of starch and thickens the sauce nicely).

STEP 1: While the pasta cooks, prepare the vegetables: cut 1 small/medium zucchini in half longwise and then cut crosswise into ¼ inch / ½ cm slices, cut 1 red bell pepper into ¼ inch / ½ cm strips. Pour boiling water over 3 medium tomatoes and pell them. Cut 2 tomatoes into cubes (about ¾ inch / 1.5 cm thick) and chop 1 tomato very finely. Chop the garlic very finely.

STEP 2: Heat 2 Tbsp of frying oil in a big pan over high heat, add the bell pepper and zucchini. Cook without stirring for 2 minutes (you have to give the vegetables time to brown), then cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.

STEP 3: Add the garlic, 1 full teaspoon of French or Italian seasoning, 1/4 ts of chili flakes if using, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

STEP 4: Add the chopped tomatoes and pasta cooking water (if using canned tomatoes there’s no need to add pasta cooking water). Cook for about 3 minutes or until thickened (some of the tomatoes should stay in pieces, and some should create a sauce). If using canned tomatoes (out of the tomato season) you can add the whole 14 oz / 400ml can – you’ll have a little more sauce than pictured (on the photo are fresh tomatoes).

STEP 5: Remove the pan from the heat, crumble 3.5oz (100g) feta cheese over the sauce, and add cooked pasta.

STEP 6: Season with salt and pepper (but carefully, the feta is already salty) and toss everything together. You can add more feta cheese on top and serve the pasta sprinkled with fresh herbs.

Enjoy!

Some tips:

  • To make this ahead: you can prepare the vegetables and sauce ahead and cook the pasta just before serving (otherwise the pasta will soak up the sauce and become mushy).
  • When doubling the recipe – cook the vegetables in batches so that they can brown and be more flavorful.
  • When cooking zucchini and bell paprika together – first add the zucchini to the pan, then the bell paprika. Zucchini needs especially browning, it can be a little bland on its own. Bell pepper has already lots of flavor.

Tagliatelle with zucchini, red bell pepper, tomatoes and feta cheese

Quick to make vegetarian dinner. It’s super tasty and healthy, full of fresh vegetables. Garlicky tomato and feta cheese sauce elevate this dish to another level!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 527kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons frying oil
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 large cloves garlic or 5 small cloves garlic
  • 1 heaped teaspoon French or Italian seasoning
  • pinch of chili flakes optional, can be omitted
  • 3 medium tomatoes or 1/2-1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 3.5 oz (100g) feta cheese
  • 5.3 oz (150g) pasta egg tagliatelle or fusilli
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • to finish: fresh herbes basil or thyme

Instructions

  • In a medium pot, bring water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente (it should have a bite to it, you don‘t need a lot of water, it must be well salted, don‘t add any olive oil to it). Reserve about 1/3 cup of pasta cooking water (it has a lot of starch and thickens the sauce nicely).
  • While the pasta cooks, prepare the vegetables: cut the zucchini in half longwise and then cut crosswise into ¼ inch / ½ cm slices, cut the bell pepper into ¼ inch / ½ cm strips. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and pell them. Cut 2 tomatoes into cubes (about ¾ inch / 1.5 cm thick) and chop 1 tomato very finely. Chop the garlic very finely.
  • Heat the oil in a big pan over high heat, add the bell pepper and zucchini. Cook without stirring for 2 minutes (you have to give the vegetables time to brown), then cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, French or Italian seasoning, chili flakes if using, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and pasta cooking water (if using canned tomatoes there's no need to add pasta cooking water). Cook for about 3 minutes or until thickened (some of the tomatoes should stay in pieces, and some should create a sauce).
  • Remove the pan from the heat, crumble the feta cheese over the sauce, and add cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper (but carefully, the feta is already salty) and toss everything together.
  • Serve sprinkled with fresh herbs (optional).
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • When using whole canned tomatoes, instead of crushed canned tomatoes, you need to cut them into cubes first. How much to add – 1/2 of a 14 oz/400ml can or 1 whole can if you like more sauce. I’m usually adding 1 whole can to not have any leftovers – add more feta cheese since there’s more sauce.
  • To double the recipe, you need to cook the bell peppers and zucchini separately, don’t overcrowd the pan, so that the vegetables can brown nicely, this gives them a lot of flavor.  First cook the bell peppers alone for about 3 minutes, transfer to a plate, then add the zucchini and cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic, chilli, herbs, cook for another minute, add the bell peppers back to the pan, then follow the recipe as written. Don‘t stir the vegetables too often so that they have a chance to brown. The provided times are only an estimate, it can take longer os shorter depending on your pan and stove.
  • Calories count: 1/2 of the recipe (1 serving). This is only an estimate!
Course dinner
Cuisine international
Keyword vegetable pasta, vegetarian pasta, zucchini bell paprika tomato pasta

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!

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