Saturday, October 23, 2010

Recipe: Pasta Autunnale

The last of the garden's summer bounty... over pasta.
Everyone's heard of pasta primavera. With asparagus, broccoli, peas, and other early-season vegetables, pasta primavera is a culinary celebration of spring.

I had to Google the Italian word for "autumn" to name this dish.  As you might imagine, this dish is a close cousin of pasta primavera... but made with fall vegetables instead.

Any day now the frost is going to sweep down out of the Rockies and end the gardening season. But for now, we've got yellow squash, chard, cherry tomatoes, onions, garlic, green beans, and thyme (I bought the mushrooms from the store). I used yellow squash in this recipe, but you could substitute zucchini if you happen to have a few hundred extras (like most gardeners I know).

Ingredients
  • 6 oz cremini or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large yellow summer squash, sliced roughly 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 4 large cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 10 green beans, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 small bunch of chard, chopped very rough
  • 1 pound of linguine pasta (I use Tinkyada brand gluten free)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped (about 1/4 teaspoon loosely packed)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (e.g. Chardonnay)
  • 1/3 cup veggie broth (or chicken, if you don't mind the meat)

Procedure
Boil the pasta is well-salted water (the water should taste like a too-salty soup). NOTE: I did not include the pasta water salt in the above ingredients list. Once pasta is al dente, remove from heat, drain, toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and set aside covered.

As the pasta is nearing doneness, heat a large stainless steel saute pan on medium to medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and then toss in the squash, mushrooms, chard, onion, and green beans. After about 3 minutes, add the butter and lower the heat to just under medium. Add the salt and pepper.

Saute the veggies, tossing or stirring frequently. Try to develop a bit of browning on the squash and onion caramelization.

After about 10 minutes, toss in the tomatoes and thyme. After another 3 minutes, taste the veggies to make sure they're pretty soft.

Prepare to add the pressed garlic. Do this by clearing a spot in the center of the pan, adding a splash of olive oil, and then putting in the garlic.

Stir the garlic around in its little clearing for about 1 minute, and as it begins to stick to the bottom (but well before it burns), deglaze the center of the pan with the white wine and scrape up any stuck garlic. Toss in the pasta, add the broth, and toss everything together to mix it.

Simmer for 1-2 minutes to evaporate some of the liquid.

Serve immediately topped with Parmesan cheese. I didn't have any, but some chopped fresh parsley on top would have been nice.

1 comment:

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