Pasta Primavera

8 oz. dry whole wheat penne pasta
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup seeded, chopped bell peppers
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. chopped garlic
2 cups diced zucchini
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
2 cups cored, chopped fresh tomatoes
2 Tbs. fresh oregano
½ tsp. salt (can omit)
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
4 cups baby spinach
4 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the penne as directed on the package, omitting any salt. Drain the penne, reserving ½ cup of the cooking water.

While waiting for the pasta water to boil, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Add the peppers, onions, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the penne and spinach to the vegetables and stir thoroughly. Let the mixture sit over low heat about 1 minute. Stir in ¼ cup of reserved cooking water, adding more if the mixture looks dry. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and sliced almonds or pine nuts.

Yield: 4 servings