Published Sunday, 10 February, 2013 by Dominika
While boiling the pasta, grab a frying pan and caramelize the onion and zucchini on a bit of olive oil on high heat. (the zucchini doesn't take long so be careful.)
when one side of the zucchini is done, toss in sliced mushrooms and flip the zucchini.
in a small bowl mix the pesto with the tomato sauce and the remaining olive oil.
note: some companies make pesto with more oil than others - the extra oil should be used only if you think it's necessary.
drain the pasta and toss it into the pan. Reduce the heat. Add the sauce mixture, tomatoes and chives. Stir to coat the pasta evenly. Add the spinach stir to incorporate the spinach then cover and let sit for about a minute. Add salt, pepper and cheese to your liking.
-if you want to add, say, a ground beef or chicken to this, it would have to be cooked at the beginning, with the onions alone, and your onions would not end up caramelizing - that's ok, it's just a different taste. Otherwise, if you have a ham or pre-cooked bacon, that can be tossed in right when you add the pasta into the pan.
-feel free to mix this up if you don't have something! You can put peppers or broccoli into pasta sauces as well!
tip 1: a trick i found to quickly caramelize onions is to burn them ever so *slightly* (frying in butter) and then add a bit of water, and let them simmer in that - the burn marks will go away when it simmers - make sure to stir this though.
tip 2: i like to wash and cut my vegetables right after i buy them and store them in plastic containers in the fridge. (this is generally on weekends when i have time to do such activities and am not swamped with homework.) this reduces the time it takes to make dinner during the week, and encourages me to eat salads - which now can be made in under a minute!
also, i slice up spinach stems like i would chives, and you can "hide" them anywhere you would put chives - right along side them. Hello extra intake of veggies, magnesium, vitamin a, c and a whole list of b's!