Our daughter sometimes questions the amount of pasta my husband and I eat for dinner. When I was growing up, there was a neighbor next to my grandfather’s house who fed her family of five on one pound of pasta! Sadly, sometimes my husband and I can eat almost a pound. We are trying to be better at limiting our intake, but can I help it if what I make tastes so darn delicious.
That’s how it was with the recipe I made this evening, Orecchiette with Summer Vegetables from Marian Burros. Although I’ve had this recipe for quite awhile, it appeared in 1997 in the The New York Times with Ms. Burros recipe for Flank Steak with a Vegetable Medley, and is very similar to another summer pasta dish I make, orecchiette baked with olives, vegetables and mozzarella. However, this recipe is done on the stovetop and only has diced zucchini, diced ripe tomatoes, 1 ear of corn, chopped onion and fresh basil.
While the pasta water is starting to boil, I sautéed the chopped onions in a non-stick pan with some olive oil. After the onions had some color, I added diced zucchini. When that was done, I added the diced tomatoes and corn kernels from two ears of corn (recipe only called for one). You’ll six chopped olives and I had Gaeta on hand and used those. This was kept on a very low flame until the pasta was cooked. I also seasoned after each addition with a bit of salt and pepper.
Before I removed the pasta from the stove, I saved a cup of the pasta cooking water. The pasta was then drained and the vegetables mixed in. As the vegetables had enough liquid, I didn’t need to any pasta water. To serve, I drizzled a bit of EVOO over the pasta and then dusted with Pecorino Romano cheese.
Yum...the pasta was delicious! It was nice and light for a hot summer night. The corn gave the dish a bit of natural sweetness. The olives gave just a hint tartness to the dish. My husband enjoyed this much more than the other recipe I mentioned. By the way, this was the third type of pasta he’s had this week. We finished some leftover penne with fresh tomato sauce and chicken Parmesan, had tomato carbonara the other evening and now this dish. It seems my daughter doesn’t prepare pasta as often as her mother. My dear son-in-law will get to try some of the leftovers from the two pasta dishes this week along with my tri-colored fusilli pasta salad I made specifically for he and my granddaughter (she loves her pasta!).
If you’re fortunate enough to have a garden with zucchini, tomatoes and basil, or have a friend who shares the bounty of their garden, try this recipe. It comes together in approximately 40 minutes, you gotta love that. If you have leftovers, you’ll want to use a bit of the leftover pasta water to reheat this dish.
By the way, I have one more pasta recipe I want to try this summer, Roasted Tomato Macaroni and Cheese form the September 2017 issue of Southern Living Magazine. However, I think I wait to try that one in another week or two. Keep an eye out for it!
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.