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No Rules Pasta and Veggies

The summer vegetables are finally a reality. If you are too busy enjoying summer to spend much time cooking this is the recipe for you. Fresh, delicate, and simple is the way to go so start the pasta water because the veggies are almost done! Almost any veggies will do so go check what is ready in your garden. Or see what you have that came home with you from the Farmers Market.  I found a few first of the crop green beans, some cippolini onions, a Tondo Scuro di Piacenza round summer squash, tomatoes, basil and chives. Pretty much anything will work here as long as it is to your liking.

The first thing to do is to start the pasta water and choose a pasta. With this light sauce spaghetti would be a good choice but remember…there are no rules with this recipe. Next, put a little olive oil, maybe a teaspoon, in a pan and add your veggies: sliced, diced or chopped. If you are using tomatoes and herbs don’t add them yet. I made matchsticks out of the zucchini, sliced the onions a bit and chopped the beans. Saute over medium heat until they are a bit tender, then remove from the heat. Meanwhile, keep an eye on the pasta water and get the pasta cooking as soon as the water begins to boil.

I like to peel the tomatoes for this dish so once the pasta is bubbling I cut the stem out of the tomatoes and drop one into the pasta water for about 30 seconds.  Take it out and continue, one at a time, with the rest of the tomatoes. Cool for a minute and then the skins will slip right off. Chop and add to the tender veggies. Return to the heat and saute just until tomatoes warm. Remove from heat again, sprinkle chopped herbs on top, and stir. When the pasta is done add it to the veggies. There is no need to drain well, a bit of the starchy water will help the delicate sauce cling to the pasta. You can add cooked shrimp or chicken or, as I did, fresh mozzarella. After all, summer is a good time to forget a few rules and just have fun!

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