It's quite saddening that we are nearly running out of summer and the weather has been quite challenging lately... what with Irene first (which thankfully didn't wreak much havoc for us) and then the remnants of Tropical storm Lee - which caused nearly 5 days of non-stop rain! But it has been a fun and busy summer for us otherwise... we managed to squeeze in a trip to the beach, visited Niagara (a first for my kids and parents), moved to a new home, had a renuion with cousins, took the kids to a farm and a zoo, hosted a party & went on a few picnics.
This pasta dish was made for one such picnic outing and it turned out pretty tasty. My daughter planted a few stems of basil (after I used the leaves from the storebought one) and they grew to be a nice beautiful plant and I've had no dearth for basil this entire summer. Infact when the plant gets big, I cut the stems, wash and dry the leaves and grind them with some olive oil and store them in the freezer for later. I also made a few batches of pesto and froze that as well. Here are some pictures from our garden:
SUMMER VEGETABLE PASTA
Pasta - 1 lb (16 oz) - I used colorful Rotini
Red onion - 1 small, sliced thinly
Garlic cloves - 3
Green Beans - 10, cut into half inch pieces
Carrots - 2 medium, julienned into slices
Bell Peppers (Red/Green) - half cup, cut into 1 inch strips
Broccoli florets & stalks - 1 cup
Yellow Squash / Zucchini - half, cut into thick strips
Pesto - 2 to 3 tbsp or to taste
Red Chilli flakes, Salt & Pepper - to taste
Olive oil - 1 tbsp + 2 tsp
Shredded Parmesan Cheese - 1/4 cup
1) Cook Pasta according to pasta directions, drain and reserve abt half cup of water.
2) Toss the vegetables with 2 tsp olive oil & a bit of salt, place in a wide bowl or plate and microwave for 5 minutes (no water needed or covering) - this will make them tender crisp.
3) Heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, add onion, garlic and chilli flakes - cook till soft and tender on medium flame, Then add the microwaved veggies and some black pepper & toss for another 5 to 6 minutes...
4) Mix the pesto with about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water and add to the drained pasta along with the microwaved vegetables & parmesan cheese. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Go with any kind of veggies you have and love.. some cherry tomatoes would be a great addition as well. This would also be great to take on picnics or for kids lunchboxes.