Quick Veggie and Pesto Pasta
I kept calling this “pasta primavera” in my head as I was making this. But it isn’t spring. It’s fall, even though it still feels more like summer now than it did when it was actually summer. It is October!
But I did manage to get my hands a lot of summer veggies on Monday when Paxton and I went to the farm. And, things like squash blossoms seem very spring-y to me.
So I wanted to call this pasta dish “fall-pasta-primavera-with-the-last-of-summer-bounty.” My friend, Corey, and I were throwing names back and forth, and probably having a little too much fun. And we determined that she is much better at the naming game than I am. Others that topped the list include “end-of-summer-fall-mavera” and “coastside farm-avera.” But, I just went for the generic title instead.
If any of you readers have other fun ideas for names for this dish, put them in the comments!
Anyway, this pasta dish came together in about the time it took for the water to boil and the pasta to cook. And it made enough for dinner plus plenty of leftovers for lunch for all of us (although I admit, I kept most of it!).
Bring a large pot of well-seasoned water to a boil. While waiting for that to happen, heat up a large pan (enough to hold a pound of pasta and all the veggies) with a little olive oil over medium heat.
Slice up a few summer squash (I had 5), clean and tear about a dozen squash blossoms, shell enough pea pods to have about a cup of peas, slice up a handful of romano beans (also called runner beans), and halve a large handful of cherry tomatoes.
Make a quick pesto of your choice. Or, feel free to use your favorite premade one. Because I got some carrots at the farm, I used the tops to make carrot top pesto with dill, chives, and parsley.
When the water comes to a boil, make the pasta according to package directions and make sure that you drain the pasta just before it is finished cooking. Reserve some of the pasta water.
As the pasta is cooking, toss the summer squash and cherry tomatoes into the pan. I did a semi-blanch of the romano beans and peas right in the pasta water, adding them about 2 minutes before I drained the pasta. If you don’t want to do that method, feel free to blanch them separately or add with the summer squash and cherry tomatoes.
After the pasta is drained, add it (and the romano beans and peas if using my method or blanched separately) to the pan along with a couple of tablespoons of the reserved pasta water. Next, add the squash blossoms and enough pesto to completely coat the pasta (I used a little over half of the carrot top pesto recipe). Cook on low for another minute until the pasta is cooked through and the squash blossoms have just wilted.
Scoop into bowls, sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese if desired, dig in, and enjoy!