Eat This

A No-Fail Formula for Perfect Summer Pasta

Eat This BY courtney conway 08/07/2018

 

When it comes to making dinner in the summertime, most of us can’t bear the thought of standing in front of a hot stove for more than, oh, 12 minutes. So if you’re in that camp (hi!), we’ve got the perfect solution—and no, it’s not Uber Eats. Bekka Palmer, who coils all kinds of cool rope baskets and bags for her line Closed Mondays, has fine-tuned a pasta habit that comes together in less than 20 minutes and can be adapted to whatever freshness you’ve got hanging around. Plus: The leftovers are great served up cold.

 

1. RE-ADJUST YOUR RATIOS

“I used to think of pasta as a winter dish. But during the summer I started making these half pasta, half vegetable dishes so they’re not as heavy as a way to use up all my produce. I usually make them two or three times a week and make enough to have leftovers so I don’t have to spend a lot of time at the stove.”

 

2. VEG AROUND

“Pick a combination of as many vegetables as you like. My go-to choices are mushroom, kale, squash, tomatoes (especially cherry tomatoes), broccoli, cauliflower, and chard. Try to chop your vegetables so they’re all the same size—I cut mine a bit larger since this not meant to become a true sauce, per se. In terms of quantity, that depends on how much you’re making, but there should always be about an even amount of cooked pasta and veggies—or even more veggies.”

 

3. ALLIUM UP

“Next, you need a few cloves of garlic or something from the onion family, like sweet onion, shallots, or green onion. Roughly chop your choice and set the onion and garlic aside.”

 

 

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4. PICK A PASTA

“Set your water on to boil and choose a pasta shape. Orecchiette, tortellini, linguini, and orzo are my favorites for this style of dish, but, truly, you can use anything.”

 

5. SAUTÉ AWAY

“While that gets going, sauté whichever onion you picked with butter until it begins to soften, then add your chopped vegetables to the pan and cook until the vegetables are cooked through, mixing often.”

 

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6. GET FRESH

“I always top everything with a fresh herb like basil, mint, or cilantro or a green like arugula. Drain the pasta and add to a mixing bowl, add the sautéed vegetables and the extra oil from the bottom of this pan to the bowl. Top with fresh herbs or arugula and mix the whole thing well. Depending on how much excess oil was on your sauté pan, you might need to add a touch of olive oil at the end. Top with, salt, pepper, and a little pecorino romano or parmesan.”

 

6. EAT...AND REPEAT

“This sounds simple, but there are so many combos, it’s a great base for making up new recipes. These are some of my favorite ones:

  • Tortellini, garlic, mushroom, broccoli, tomato, and basil
  • Linguini, sweet onion, squash, cauliflower, and cilantro.
  • Orecchiette, garlic, tomatoes, basil, and arugula

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