The Sensitive Kitchen

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Madison Farmer's Market Pasta

This is a peak-of-summer dish to celebrate the garden's bounty at its finest. Only use the freshest, ripest, most flavorful ingredients for this dish. If you're not in the mood for pasta, the remaining ingredients make a wonderful side dish on their own.

1 pound whole-wheat fusilli or other short chunky pasta
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, diced
4-5 small zucchini, cut in thick half-moons
4-5 small yellow squash, cut in thick half-moons
1 large heirloom tomato, coarsely chopped
15 kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
2 Tbsp capers
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh oregano

Start pasta water to boil. When boiling, add a generous amount of salt and cook pasta until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large kadhai, wok or skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook for a moment, then add red onion and increase heat to medium-high. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. When onion is translucent and beginning to brown, increase heat to high and add zucchini. Cook, stirring constantly, until zucchini is firm but fork-tender and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; add tomato and its juice, olives, capers, pine nuts, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.

When pasta is ready, toss with vegetable mixture. The liquid given up by the vegetable saute should be enough to create a sauce with the pasta. If not, add pasta cooking water and/or olive oil to taste.

This dish is so flavorful that no one will miss the cheese. We had a bowl of freshly grated Pecorino Romano at the table, and no one touched it.

Serves 6-8.


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