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Verde Grezze with Pasta

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A great entertaining dish for mid-summer into early fall, this hearty dish makes the best of the end of the season’s produce with this wonderful, fresh dinner.

Verde grezze is just a fancy, albeit Italian, way of saying raw vegetables. In this recipe, all you need is a pot of boiling water, some good dried pasta, vegetables, herbs, olive oil and a large bowl.  From the chewiness of the al dente pasta to the burst of garden ripe tomatoes, it’s love at first bite.  And, leftovers can become a refreshing, cold pasta salad with the addition of simple vinaigrette.

8 oz pasta, such as a small penne, spaghetti, bow tie, etc.

1-2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

½ cup peas

½ cup corn kernels

1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly

12-15 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half

4 green onions, ¼-inch slices

¼ cup chopped fresh basil (or about 1 tbs. dried)

½ cup chopped fresh parsley

1, 15 oz. can of chickpeas rinsed and drained

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup olive oil


Bring water to a boil, add pasta, a pinch of salt and the chopped garlic (this will gently infuse its flavor into the pasta while it cooks and soften the raw garlic).  Cook pasta until al dente – see times on your packaging. Meanwhile, prep your vegetables and place them in a large serving bowl.  Add the herbs, cheese, salt and pepper and toss.  Let these set at room temperature while the pasta finishes cooking.


Drain the cooked pasta and toss it with your prepared vegetables.  Drizzle over your olive oil and toss again.  Finish the dish with an additional sprinkle of Parmesan if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature. Stores and reheats well.   Serves 4 as a main dish. 

Leftovers can be turned into a cold pasta salad with the addition of vinaigrette.  If you have 1/3 to ½ of the pasta left, whisk together 2 tablespoons of vinegar with 2 tablespoons of olive oil – adding a little salt and pepper or dried herbs and toss with the leftover pasta.  Chill and serve. 

(Typically, homemade vinaigrette is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Since the pasta already has oil in its sauce, this dressing has a higher ratio of vinegar.  Certainly, a store-bought dressing could be used, too.)

Serves 4 as a main dish and at least 6 as a side dish.

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