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Recipe: Summer Spaghetti

This simple pasta dish incorporates the light flavors of summer vegetables into a traditionally rich dish. The sauce is similar to a succotash – but it removes the corn and substitutes the commonly used lima bean for protein-rich black beans, a favorite substitute for ground beef in some of my favorite lightened versions of lasagna, chili and Mexican dishes. When they’re in season, fresh summer tomatoes can be substituted for canned.

The dish can be prepared in about 20 minutes, making it ideal for a busy weeknight or a quick solution for unexpected dinner guests. With just over 300 calories, 11 grams of fiber and nearly 15 grams of protein, the dish is almost a meal in itself, though it’s best served with a simple salad on the side. If the pasta and sauce are stored separately, the leftovers make a delicious microwave lunch the next day.

1    12-ounce box whole-wheat penne
1    tbsp. olive oil
3    cloves garlic, minced
1    cup yellow squash, sliced and quartered
1    cup zucchini, sliced and quartered
1    small yellow onion, roughly chopped
1    can black beans, drained and rinsed
1    can diced tomatoes
1    tbsp. fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1/2    tbsp. fresh oregano, coarsely chopped
•    Salt and pepper
3    tbsp. Grated Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper for serving

Boil pasta according to package directions; strain. While pasta cooks, heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini, squash, onion and garlic; stir-fry until crisp- tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in black beans and tomatoes; cover until heated through. Stir in basil and oregano, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over 1 1/2 cup-size servings of pasta, sprinkle with Parmesan and red pepper, and serve. Serves six.

Yield: 6 servings
Calories: 307
Dietary Fiber: 11.9g
Protein: 15.7g
Total Fat: 4.3g
Total Carbohydrates: 56.1g
Vitamin C: 24%
Iron: 43%



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