Gluten Free-Lemon Basil Summer Pasta

Happy Friday!  Since we moved into our “fixer upper” house in February we have tried to do some type of project on the house every Saturday. Last Saturday, we got so immersed in our projects I totally forget about eating…something David NEVER forgets about! Ha! Hungry husband and tired children is not a good mix.  I snapped into gear and whipped up my go-to, lemon basil summer pasta. I love this recipe because it is fast, fresh, and healthy.  I make all kinds of variations of this recipe depending on what produce is in season and what I have on hand. I am still working on finishing the leftover tomatoes from our  salsa making day, so I used those, and some leftover zucchini I had in the fridge. I usually make this recipe with grape tomatoes and yellow squash-so good! I got this on the table in twenty minutes and David walked in pleasantly shocked that I had made a delicious, hot meal so quickly…and I even had time to snap a few photos along the way.  I was pretty impressed with myself too!

I said, I finished cooking the meal in twenty minutes, that does not mean I cleaned the kitchen in twenty minutes!  I have a confession-I am a messy cook-a very messy cook.  Ask my mom and husband, they will testify of the many catastrophic messes I have made in the kitchen while cooking.  I admire those who can meticulously wipe every drip out of place, and sweep every crumb that falls to the floor, while in the middle of cooking…not me!  I get in a “creative zone” and cleaning is the last thing on my mind until I am finished.  BUT…that is all changing thanks to my current “small kitchen problems!”

I affectionately call this my “Dwarf Kitchen!” Yes, it is really that small, and yes, I do all of my cooking in that kitchen.  Let me tell you a story.  When David and I were house hunting for the perfect “fixer upper” house that we could live in for the next two years (or so), fix up, and hopefully sell for a profit, this was the first house we went to see. I walked in, saw the kitchen, walked out, and said, “Absolutely Not!” Needless to say, long story short, this is my kitchen, and the “diaries of my small kitchen problems” have been birthed! (I’ll share more details about why we decided on this house, and our plans for remodeling it in a new post soon.)  No, but seriously, I have grown to love my little, charming, yellow kitchen!  It is truly amazing what you can adapt to with the right attitude (well, knowing I am going to get a much larger, completely new, remodeled kitchen helps too!)  Most of my kitchen stuff is still in boxes in storage but I am really enjoying simplifying life and using less stuff! I am also being cured of my messy “kitchen ways”, frankly, a big mess in a little bitty kitchen is a very bad combination!

I grew up on pasta and I love a good pasta dish-but we eat 80% gluten free now- so I have been searching for the perfect gluten free pasta.  I am pleased to announce, I have found it!  Trader Jo’s organic brown rice penne and rigatoni pasta is excellent tasting, it only has a two ingredients, and it is $1.99!  You can’t beat it!  One tip though with GF brown rice pasta, for the love of all that is good in the world-please, don’t overcook it!  Nobody wants brown rice pasta mush for dinner.  Follow the instructions on the bag, mix in the simmering veggie sauce and you should be left with a perfect al dente pasta dish! Mmmmmm!  Without further adieu, I bring you recipe 3 of our lemon basil week!  Enjoy!

Lemon Basil Summer Vegetable Pasta


1 16oz bag of organic, gluten free, brown rice penne pasta

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp butter

6-7 medium tomatoes, diced

1 medium onion, chopped

2 zucchini, diced

4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely

1 lemon

handful of basil, chopped finely

Parmesan  or Romano cheese to garnish

salt and pepper to taste


Boil a pot of salted water for the pasta and follow the instructions on the bag to cook.  While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute onions for three minutes.  Add in tomatoes and zuchinni and saute for another five minutes.  Add in garlic and cook until vegetables are soft.  Salt and pepper to taste

Drain the pasta and pour it into your pasta bowl.  Pour the tomato mixture over top of the pasta and mix everything together.  Stir in 2 tablespoons of butter, juice of one lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.  Grate cheese on top and sprinkle with fresh basil!

Dive in!

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