Vegetable pasta

Some of the food I cook is not decided by any recipes, or a specific inspiration, but is simply based on what I have in the fridge and what needs to be used. As I get organic veg boxes almost every week, I am always left with some carrots and very rarely know what to do with kale. But when it is time for them to be eaten, something needs to be done. Very often the result is surprisingly good. Here is one of those experiments that everyone liked and ensured my organic veggies got used before they got rotten. Seeing as most kids love pasta, I bet you can successfully adapt this recipe to add different vegetables like parsnips, onion, spinach, courgettes, celery, celeriac and many others.

* indicates that the ingredient is organic / easily available in the UK as organic

Prep time 10 mins

Cooking time 25 mins

Serves 2 and a baby


250g penne pasta* (half a packet, fusilli would be good as well)

3 carrots*

1 leek*

1 large bunch of kale* (I used purple kale, but any kale is fine)

2 french onion stock cubes*

knob of butter*

small bunch of parsley for garnish (optional)

salt and black pepper* to taste


Boil full kettle of water. Use half of it to boil pasta according to packet instructions. In the meantime prepare your vegetables. Grate carrots, finely slice the leek and chop the kale. Put the chopped kale in a colander and pour remaining boiling water over it to wilt it slightly. Squeeze the water and chop some more, kale can be difficult to chew, especially without teeth, so just keep that in mind and get it chopped as finely as needed.

In a large pan heat a knob of butter and add all the vegetables, fry for a couple of minutes. Reserve one cup of pasta cooking water and dissolve your stock cubes, add to the pan. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Now add cooked pasta and mix it in, cook uncovered for another 5 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and vegetables are soft. Adjust seasoning to taste, or add an extra stock cube, but be aware of the salt content.

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This recipe has been entered to the Meat Free Mondays feature at Tinned Tomatoes.