Pasta Pomodoro With Summer Vegetables

“Everything you see I owe to Spaghetti”

Sophia Loren

Summer came late this year but it’s now here with a vengeance.  Long hot days and nights and more than 27 degrees predicted for the next week.  We’ll be at the house at Cultus Lake this weekend with my husbands family, a yearly tradition.


Tonight I made an improvised Pomodoro sauce and threw in a bunch of veggies: fresh basil, fire roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes, capers and spinach.

When I was in Italy I learned a trick for Pomodoro; Whenever you get through your parmesano cheese, keep the rinds in a bag in the fridge and throw them into the sauce just for flavour. They can be pulled out before serving.  Usually I make fresh Pomodoro with tomatoes but during my recent Birthday trip to Vancouver Island, I stopped in at Coombs Old Country Market and picked up some ingredients from their large array of international brands including a few jars of different types of pasta sauces.  Today I used the Vodka sauce as my base.

This is my twist on Pasta Pomodoro with Vegetables.


You Will Need: 

Spaghetti or your choice of pasta

1 Jar of pasta sauce

Olive oil

1 Tblsp Garlic Butter

1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in 1/2

2 cups spinach torn by hand

1 whole bunch of fresh sweet basil

1 jar fired roasted red pepper chopped

2 Tblsp of capers

1 onion chopped

3 garlic cloves chopped

Leftover rinds of parmesan cheese (if you don’t have any just add shredded parmesan to the sauce while cooking )

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/2 cup of vegetable broth

1 tsp each of: 

Smoked Paprika

garlic powder

onion powder

dried oregano

Truffle Oil (optional)



Cook pasta until al-dente (butter and set aside)

In a large skillet, heat olive oil on high heat and begin sauteeing the onions followed by garlic.

Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until they begin to soften

Roasted red peppers go in next and then the capers


Add the pasta sauce to the pan and top with all spices and salt and pepper to taste.


Place the Parmesan rinds into the sauce and tear up the basil and add to the sauce.  Lower heat to medium low and let simmer for about 5 – 10 minutes.  I found the sauce thickening quickly so to avoid it sticking I added 1/2 of cup of broth.


After 10 minutes add in the spinach a handful at a time. It will cook down and almost disappear so don’t worry if it seems like a lot at the beginning. Let simmer for another 10 minutes to build flavour and add more spices if needed.  I always do.

Right before finishing I added the garlic butter and let it melt into the sauce.  Pull the Parmesan rinds out and discard.

Transfer the sauce into the pot of pasta and stir to combine.  I added a splash of Truffle Oil we bought at the Torciano Winery in San Gemignano last year.


I toasted some garlic bread and placed some Ricotta Cheese on the table as a topping for our pasta.


Bon apetito!




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