I love pasta. Not only is it something my kids will always be happy to find on their plate, it is also a good, quick meal. No matter what I have in my cupboard, there's always something that can be served up with pasta for a delicious and healthy meal.

Here are three pasta dishes that can be made with whatever vegetables you have in your fridge and some basic pantry items. They are perfect for nights when you're short on time, because all of the sauces can be made in the amount of time it takes to cook your pasta. So throw on a pot of water to boil and make a pot of pasta.

Puttanesca (20 minutes)
Pasta puttanesca is basically a quick and easy tomato sauce that is packed full of flavour. Serve it with a simple salad for a fancy, but easy meal.

1-454g box of pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 can of flaked tuna
1-796 ml can of diced tomatoes
1-796 ml can of crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup of chopped black olives
3 Tbsp of capers
1/4 cup of fresh parsley
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring water to boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Cook to al dente so that the sauce sticks.
2. Meanwhile make the puttanesca sauce by gently frying the garlic and tuna in the olive oil.
3. When the garlic has softened (after about 2 minutes), pour in the cans of crushed and diced tomatoes.
4. Add the chopped olives, capers and fresh parsley. Depending on your family’s taste you may want to add the crushed red pepper flakes. However, if your kids won’t touch spicy foods, then the red pepper flakes can be sprinkled on top of individual servings.
5. Allow the sauce to simmer for at least 15 minutes to blend the flavours. It should be ready around the same time as the pasta.
6. Mix the pasta into the sauce, tossing to fully coat. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and more crushed red pepper flakes.

Pasta with Greens (20 minutes)
This is a really simple pasta recipe that feels fresh and inspired when you use farmers’ market vegetables. However, it is a good quick meal for anytime of year. Feel free to replace the chard with kale, or the walnuts with pine nuts.

1-454g box of pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of rainbow chard
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1-796 ml can of diced tomatoes
¼ cup walnuts
1 1/2 tsp salt
black pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook the pasta following the instructions on the package.
2. Prepare the sauce while the pasta cooks.
3. Dice the garlic and chop up the chard, separating the stems from the leaves.
4. Heat a large frying pan on medium heat. Quickly toast the walnuts in the frying pan. This should only take about 2 minutes if the pan is hot. Remove the walnuts and set them aside to cool.
5. Next, fry the garlic with the chard stems until soft, about 5 minutes.
6. Add the chard leaves with the balsamic vinegar and tomatoes. Continue to cook until the pasta is done. The chard leaves should be wilted after about 3 minutes.
7. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and toss it in the frying pan with the cooked vegetables. Salt to taste.
8. Serve with chopped walnuts and Parmesan cheese.

Pizza Pasta (Total time 25 minutes)
This is a real favourite at our house because everyone LOVES pizza! It can be made with whatever pizza toppings you happen to have on hand. I like olives, peppers, onions and mushrooms. You could use pepperoni, ham, pineapple, sun dried tomatoes, spinach. Really, anything works.

1-454g box of pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 jar or can of tomato sauce
2 cups of your favourite pizza toppings
1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
1 tsp salt, to taste

1. Cook pasta following the instructions on the package.
2. While the pasta water boils, dice up all the pizza toppings.
3. Quickly fry any of the raw vegetables until they are soft. Then add the tomato sauce and any remaining pizza toppings. Continue to cook until everything is hot and the tomato sauce is simmering.
4. When the pasta is cooked, drain it well, then put it in a large, oven safe casserole dish.
5. Pour the tomato sauce and pizza toppings over the pasta. Toss everything so the pasta is well coated.
6. Sprinkle the grated mozzarella over top of the pasta and put under the broiler for 2-5 minutes to melt the cheese.

Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with her two busy children. She lives in Victoria and is the author of the fermentation-based blog fermentingforfoodies.com.