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Summer Veggie Spaghetti

July 15, 2012

In the summertime, fresh produce is in such delightful abundance that K and I ease up on on our carnivorous tendencies and adopt a much simpler, veggie-centric dinner menu .  So when July rolls around, I find myself looking for new ways to incorporate vegetables into hearty, satisfying main courses.  This recipe caught my eye in the June issue of Better Homes and Gardens.  A fresh and spicy take on pasta primavera – this version lacks a cream sauce, which makes it less far less heavy than other versions we’ve tried.   I love the recipe most of all because it allows me to recycle last night’s grilled vegetable leftovers.  Swap your traditional pasta for perfectly al dente whole wheat spaghetti, and you have yourself a wholesome and satisfying summer dinner; perfect for fueling tomorrow morning’s early AM bike ride.

SIMPLE SUMMER VEGGIE SPAGHETTI (adapted from Better Homes & Gardens)

1 pkg whole wheat spaghetti   |   1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil   |    3-5 large cloves of garlic   |   heavy dose of crushed red chili flakes (to taste)   |   2 big handfuls of last night’s leftover grilled vegetables (asparagus, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash all work well…I also added 2 cups of baby kale for some extra nutrition)   |   1 pint of grape or cherry tomoatoes, halved and salted  |   handful fresh basil, chiffon   |   grated parmesano reggiano (to taste)

Cook pasta to your preference and drain, reserving a few tablespoons of the pasta water.  I usually stop my pasta from cooking a minute or two shy of directions on package.  Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and toss in chopped garlic along with red pepper flakes.  Cook for just a minute, then add baby kale and saute, stirring until kale is bright green and slightly wilted – about 2-3 minute more.  Before garlic has a chance to brown, stir in your chopped vegetables & tomatoes.  At this point, kill the heat and add a ladle of your pasta water to the mixture.  Add pasta + cheese, and toss.  Finish with a garnish of additional cheese and chiffon of basil.  Enjoy! 

veggies grilling up 

saute the baby kale

halved grape tomatoes

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