Whole Wheat Penne with Summer Vegetables

We’re enjoying all the late summer veggies we can, because flavorful tomatoes and field-fresh zucchini won’t be with us for much longer. Tender whole wheat penne is accented with roasted and sautéed veggies and crispy breadcrumbs that will have you wondering why you ever put cheese on your pasta in the first place! You’ll be out of the kitchen and enjoying this healthy, loaded-with-nutrients, wholesome pasta meal in under 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for a busy weeknight.

Serves: Two

Cook and Prep time:  under 30 minutes

Nutrition Info: Calories: 708 / Fat: 31g / Carbohydrates: 89g / Fiber: 15g / Protein: 18g / Vitamin A: 173% / Calcium: 18% / Vitamin C: 121% / Iron 38%


6 ounces whole wheat penne

2 cups cherry tomatoes

2 small zucchini, quartered and cut into ½” chunks

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, divided

¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs

Bread Crumb Spice Mix

2 TB mixed black and green pitted olives, sliced

5 oz. baby spinach

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  •  Pasta pot
  •  Colander
  •  Rimmed baking sheet
  •  Small baking pan (such as a pie tin)


Olive oil

Kosher or sea salt, black pepper


If you have an extra minute, cut away the seeds from your zucchini after you’ve quartered them. This will ensure that the zucchini roasts with minimal moisture, eliminating that “watery” texture that keeps some people from enjoying this delicious summer vegetable.


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heat oven to 400°F.

2. Season the boiling water with a large pinch of sea salt. Cook penne for 10 minutes, or until “al dente” (firm to the bite but cooked through). Reserve ½ cup of cooking water, then drain pasta and set aside. Save the empty pasta pot for step 5.

3. While pasta is cooking, toss cherry tomatoes and zucchini on a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and half of the sliced garlic. Season with salt and pepper, spread in an even layer, and roast for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.

4. Stir the bread crumbs and Bread Crumb Spice Mix together with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small bowl. Season with a little salt and pepper, and spread in an even layer in the small baking dish. Toast breadcrumbs in the oven along with the roasting vegetables, stirring several times and checking to be sure they don’t overcook, until golden brown and crispy. Set aside.

5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the empty pasta pot over high heat. Add remaining garlic and olives, stir for 30 seconds, then add baby spinach. Stir until wilted, season with a little salt and pepper, then add roasted vegetables, pasta, and a few tablespoons of the cooking water. Stir until combined and heated through. Top each serving with a generous amount of bread crumbs and serve piping hot.


Advance prep—Bread crumbs can be toasted a day in advance and stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

Time management—Get your pasta water on and start preheating the oven before you chop your zucchini and garlic. You’ll be cooking pasta while roasting vegetables and toasting bread crumbs. This dish comes together quickly, so read through the recipe and stay focused!


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


©2020 VegTableFoods

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?