Italian Style Vegetable Ragu over Quinoa Pasta

Recipe courtesy of Chef Bren Ankrum – Culinary Editor

Pasta’s in Italy are as diverse as you can imagine from region to region and range from very simple pasta’s with the pasta, oil, and cheese to more complex vegetable combinations called ragu. The following is a combination of ingredients high in nutritional value, and combined with quinoa pasta adds a protein component to the dish without seafood or meats.

As an aside quinoa pasta is gluten free this is an attractive option for many individuals with gluten intolerance.


Equipment/ utensils required:

Chef’s knife, cutting board, stock pot

Cut Fresh Okra


2 cups cut fresh okra

1 large sweet onion cut in 1 inch pieces

1 large green bell pepper cut in 1 inch pieces

3 large fresh garlic cloves, smashed and chopped

26 oz chopped Italian tomatoes, unsalted

2 large jalapenos, chopped (more to taste)

16 oz frozen baby lima beans, unthawed

15 oz frozen yellow corn kernels, unthawed

1 tbsp kosher salt

1 tbsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp raw sugar

1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Quinoa Pasta

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

3 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp butter

1 box of quinoa pasta shells


  1. Sauté onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno peppers in olive oil, 3 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, butter and okra; simmer over low heat 10 minutes.
  3. Add corn and lima beans; stir and return to simmer. Taste and adjust for salt and spice, adding more salt or hot peppers if needed. Simmer 10-15 minutes or until all vegetables are tender but not mushy.
  4.  Remove from heat and allow to rest 15 minutes prior to serving to let rest as it will continue to cook at room temperature while you prepare the pasta and bruschetta .

Serves:  8

Nutritional Information per serving:

Calories 339, Fat 4.7 gm, Cholesterol 36 mg, Sodium 966 mg, Carbohydrates 48 gm, Fiber 7.2 gm, Protein 10.9 gm.


Equipment/ utensils required:

Chef’s knife, cutting board


8 slices of sourdough bread or substitute, cut into approximately ½ inch slices, toasted both sides to golden brown

8 tbsp. pesto dressing

8 tbsp. chopped Italian or ripe cherry tomatoes, drained

1 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese grated


  1. Toast the bread
  2. Place 1 tbsp. of the tomatoes on each slice, 1 tbsp. of the dressing over the top and 1 oz. of cheese on top of the tomatoes and dressing.
  3. Place under broiler until the cheese begins to melt or the edges of the bread begin to char.
  4. Remove and serve immediately

Serves: 8

Nutritional Information per serving:

Calories 179, Fat 9.8 gm, Cholesterol 28 mg, Sodium 528 mg, Carbohydrates 10.4 gm, Protein 12.4 gm.

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