Pasta is an appealing meal option for vegetarians, since the basic ingredient comes in countless shapes and forms, cooks quickly, and dresses up wonderfully well with vegetables and herbs.
In this case, linguine is the pasta called for, in a recipe that's one of "five easy dinners" featured in the May issue of Real Simple magazine. This pasta's long, narrow ribbons curl tastily around the recipe's peppy sauce of capers and olives sparked with a subtle zing of red pepper flakes.
Depending on how hearty a meal you want to offer, this dish could stand alone, be accompanied by cheese and crusty bread, or follow a first course of soup. Keeping to the easy style, dessert could be a choice of fruit, grapes or early berries, with or without ice cream.
(Start to finish 20 minutes)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
26-ounce jar marinara sauce
6.75-ounce jar Spanish olives, drained and roughly chopped
3.5-ounce jar capers, drained and roughly chopped
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1-pound box linguine
Heat the olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper in a large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the marinara sauce, olives, capers, parsley and lemon zest. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the linguine according to the package instructions. Drain and add the linguine to the sauce, tossing to coat. Transfer to a large serving dish and serve family-style.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.