This is so delicious and healthy! It tastes sweet from the balsamic and the vegetables and the saltiness from the fresh mozzarella creates a perfect balance for your taste buds. You can eat this without the guilt. Enjoy!
Vegetarian Penne Pasta Salad with Balsamic Reduction
1. 3/4 lb whole wheat penne pasta
2. 1 cup pasta water
3. 1 red bell pepper, sliced
4. 1 red onion, halved and sliced
5. 1/2 lb asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
6. 1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and cut into 1 inch pieces
7. 1 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise and cut into 1 inch pieces
8. 4 oz fresh mozzarella, crumbled
9. 1/2 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
10. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
11. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large pot, bring water to a boil and season with salt. Cook the penne pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
To make the balsamic reduction, in a small saucepan over medium high heat, add the balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil and then gently simmer until reduced by half.
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, until translucent and slightly browned. Add the red bell pepper, asparagus, zucchini, and squash and continue sautéing for 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
When the pasta is done, drain and add to the cooked vegetables. Add the balsamic reduction and as much pasta water you would like to make a "sauce". Scatter mozzarella cheese on top. Serve.