Monday, July 20, 2009

Food: Summer Pasta

Here in Michigan, it's almost peak vegetable season. So we all know what that means...you can find fresh everything at the store and farmers' markets! A few weekends ago I threw together this pasta for a quick Friday night meal. It's super easy and simple - and would adapt really well to what every veggie you find at the store this week - zucchini, wax beans, etc. Just make sure to include the tomatoes and lemon since that's what helps create the "sauce."


Summer Pasta
MM

Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Finely Grated Zest from one lemon
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 4 shakes of crushed red pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, snapped into 1" pieces
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 10 oz grape tomatoes (i.e. one package)
  • 4 oz mushrooms (I used a package of pre-sliced, mixed variety)
  • 1 T chives, chopped
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 16 oz Pasta (I used Gia Rusa Whole Wheat Roman Rigatoni)
  • 3 oz, crumbled Feta Cheese

Directions

  • In a medium-sized, deep saucepan, heat oil over medium heat for a couple of minutes -or- until you can start to smell its aroma. Add lemon zest and crushed red pepper and heat for another 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and tomatoes and increase heat to medium-high.
  • After cooking for ~15 minutes, tomatoes should be tender enough to crush. Smash tomatoes with back of spoon (be careful when doing this so you don't splatter yourself - or the walls!), add lemon juice, asparagus, pepper, salt. Heat for another 5 minutes or so until asparagus is cooked yet still firm.
  • Meanwhile, heat generously salted water in a large pot on high heat. Once water is boiling, add pasta. Cook for 10 minutes (or until al dente - according to pasta instructions). Drain pasta. Pour "sauce" over pasta, add feta cheese, toss to coat.
  • Garnish with fresh chives.

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