Friday, July 9, 2010

Pasta with Early Summer Vegetables

I find myself making this recipe when the fridge is getting too full. It's a great way to clear out space when you know another box of vegetables is coming in. Or to make myself feel less bad for buying a bunch of Swiss chard at Soulard when I already have vegetable coming out the wazoo. (I love Swiss chard.) The thing about the recipe is that you can use pretty much whatever you have.

Pasta with Early Summer Vegetables

half a box of penne rigate
zucchini, quartered and sliced
bunch of Swiss chard, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 onions, bottoms chopped, tops sliced and reserved (I grew those!)
1 purple pepper, julienned (that one's from my garden too)
1 tabasco pepper, chopped (yep, I grew it)
1 14.5 ounce can of whole tomatoes with juice
handful of basil (mine too)
couple sprigs of oregano (this plant is 3 years old!)
olive oil
salt and pepper
parmigiano reggiano

I chop all my veggies while waiting for my pasta water to boil. Once I drop the pasta, I add the onions, garlic, zucchini, peppers and oregano (stripped from the stem) to a pan that's been heated to medium high with a little bit of olive oil in it. I season with salt and pepper. Sometimes I also add the chopped stems of the chard, but the chard stems were dirty after I rinsed and spun it, and I was lazy and didn't feel like doing a detailed recleaning.

After about 5 minutes, I add the tomatoes with juice. I am not a huge fan of the stem parts, so I remove them and crush the tomatoes before I add them to the vegetables. I add a little more salt for the tomatoes and crank up the heat to high to reduce.

After 3 minutes have passed, there should be about 2 minutes left on the cooking time left for the pasta, I add the Swiss chard to the pasta water. Cook til the pasta is al dente (about 3 more minutes).

When the pasta is almost done, I add torn basil to my sauce.

Drain pasta and Swiss chard. Grab a big bowl.

Add pasta. Top with vegetables. Garnish with parmigiano reggiano, cracked black pepper, the onion tops, and more fresh basil.

This is one of my favorite foods. And it's even good heated up in the microwave the next day.

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