Summer Pasta: Farmer’s Market with a side of Kitchen Sink

Summer pasta: a combination of all of the Farmers Market finds you forgot to eat!

Summer pasta: a combination of all of the Farmers Market finds you forgot to eat!

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.

Pasta's BFF is always a wedge of cheese...

Pasta is rarely seen without its BFF, a wedge of Parmesan.


Who am I to deny such a friendship?

Cheesy close up

I could eat this carb-fest for days and love every bite.

I could eat this carb-fest for days and love every bite.

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!

17 thoughts on “Summer Pasta: Farmer’s Market with a side of Kitchen Sink

  1. Beautiful photos! Looks delicious. I do this too. Just toss whatever on top of pasta. Roasted eggplant, fresh tomatoes, torn basil and some garlic. Always good. 🙂 love Summer.

  2. Do I see some of those crook-neck yellow squash in there!?? Yes, I believe I do! My wife’s folks stayed at our house while we were in Alaska, and I came home to dozens of those things in my fridge (“Tag — you’re it!!”) I made a risotto version of this very thing — every leftover summer vegetable in the fridge + pancetta — just yesterday!

  3. “Turned to the dark side”! Ha ha ha!! How many times do I open my fridge and find this happening to my veg. Thank goodness for pasta, the saviour of all perishables.
    Beautiful looking dish 🙂

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