I feel like every season has an appropriate pasta sauce to go with it. I can’t imagine autumn without brown butter (and its ubiquitous partner, sage) or winter without a rich Bolognese. Spring seems to be the time for pesto — either traditional basil or a new riff like this parsley version.
Summer pasta sauces seem less structured and more, well, see the title of this post…
They stem from that moment when all of a sudden you realized you bought a bunch of beautiful produce but have been so busy hiking, camping, bbq-ing and river floating that you forgot all about it. And they usually consist of ripe tomatoes, squash, herbs, garlic, peppers and whatever odds and ends you come across while cleaning out your fridge.
I made this pile of pasta last week while I realized (in a slight panic) that I had things that needed to be eaten before they turned to the dark side. I took one look at everything I had pulled out of the fridge, and immediately started digging for some pasta. All types of veggies can find harmony when mixed with pasta. It’s a fact.
I started by sautéing up lots of minced garlic to which I added a diced zucchini and summer squash and a hefty pinch of chili flake, cooking it all under just tender. Then I took the last of the asparagus I had kicking around and blanched it.
Next I cooked the pasta, reserving about a cup of the liquid. Once the pasta was drained I sautéed up slivered onions and more garlic until fragrant. Then I tossed in the pasta, the cooked veggies, some leftover pesto and just enough starchy pasta water to bind it all together.
At the end went two beautifully ripe tomatoes, a handful of frozen peas, a good amount of Parmesan and some chives from my garden.
And some butter, because it’s better that way.
I also had to add some nasturtiums because I cannot stop putting them in everything this summer.
Besides saving your veggies from a sad, moldy end, this pasta also boasts an incredibly quick cooking time. Boil some water and you’re halfway to delicious!