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Cooking With Olivia Begalla

by Olivia Begalla

Hello Reader! 

I thought I would introduce myself with this being my first recipe ever! My name is Olivia and I am a first-year here at ASC. I love to cook and I am super excited for the opportunity to talk about all things cooking with you all! I will be sharing recipes and reviewing restaurants in and around Decatur. The goal of this column is to provide you with easy, affordable, and healthy meals you can make on your own without any fancy tools or skills. However, at times when cooking seems like too much work, I also want to be able to give you some good restaurant recommendations around Decatur. So thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy! 

Trash Can Pasta

This dish is my go-to whenever I have leftover vegetables in the fridge. Hence, trash can pasta! It’s perfect for a weeknight meal because it’s easy to make and healthy. 


  • Pasta (Any shape! I usually prefer farfalle or rigatoni for this dish)
  • Chickpeas
  • Goat cheese
  • Vegetables (I use any vegetables that I have on hand, so here are some options)
    • Zucchini 
    • Onion
    • Broccoli 
    • Green beans
    • Yellow squash 
    • Spinach
    • Asparagus
    • Cherry tomatoes 
  • Sausage (optional, I use a plant-based sausage)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional) 
  • Balsamic glaze (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. 
  2. Chop vegetables into bite-sized pieces. For this recipe I used one yellow onion and one zucchini. 
  3. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas.
  4. Throw your vegetables of choice and chickpeas onto a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil on top, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and if you have it, thyme. 
  5. Put the pan in the oven for 20 minutes or until the vegetables look golden.
  6. Put a pot of water on to boil. Don’t forget to salt your water! (I put in roughly 1 tablespoon).
  7. Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook according to the box. 
  8. Drain pasta.
  9. Once the vegetables and the pasta are done, mix everything together! 
  10. Add the goat cheese to the pasta by adding it in small crumbles. I love to use honey goat cheese for this recipe, but herb goat cheese is also great.
  11. If desired, cut sausage links and pan fry them. Mix into the pasta.
  12. Serve the pasta in a bowl and garnish with balsamic glaze and parmesan cheese. 
  13. Enjoy 🙂

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