I have to be honest. This recipe is kind of a take off of a Giada recipe where she cooked squash and sausage together, before tossing it with bowtie pasta. I made that original recipe with turkey sausage, red pepper flakes, and a lot of garlic, but found that if we removed the pasta and sausage, that it was still a great side dish. Enough rambling on my part. Let me get to the recipe!
Vegetable Primavera Pasta
3 Cups of sliced small yellow squash & zucchini
1 red pepper, diced (optional)
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced (to your tastes)
red pepper flakes (to taste)
3 tbsp Olive Oil + additional as needed in sauteing
1/4 C. cream (optional)
3 C. cooked pasta
Top with Parmesean cheese
Slice up the vegetables in similar size and thickness. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan to medium high heat. Toss in the olive oil, followed by the red pepper flakes to quickly infuse the oil with its heat. Quickly add vegetables and garlic to saute until nearly tender. You can add a few tablespoons of water at this point to gently loosen any bits stuck to the pan.
If you want a creamier finish, add some cream at the end and incorporate with the vegetables with some salt and pepper to finish off. If you want a lighter, equally as delicious version you can finish it off with a 1/4 of chicken stock or white wine. To this cooked vegetable base, toss in 3 C. of cooked pasta. Bowtie, penne, or even a stuffed pasta generally make the best choice (something with a larger surface to catch any sauce and to go with the vegetable chunks), but use what you have! As you can see, I used fresh ravioli that was on sale. Finish off with some fresh Parmesan and freshly cracked pepper. Buon apetito!
Leftover Alert: This tends to soak up any liquid you have leftover, so it's a bit drier when you go to heat it up again. If I know I'm going to pack it up for leftovers, I sometimes add a bit more broth or water before I finish it off. Yes, it makes it a little looser for your first meal, but if you serve it with a slotted spoon, leaving the sauce in the pan, then you have plenty of liquid to get you through your leftovers.
Other Optional Veggies for Recipe Base: mushrooms, asparagus, carrots (but be careful, because their sweetness can be odd), a diced tomato, spinach, peas, and it always tastes great with a chiffonade of fresh basil! Dare I admit that it also tastes great to cut up some sliced bacon and use it with the olive oil to get things started? Yes, it's really good!
For more weekend cooking, go to Beth Fish Reads. You'll find all sorts of great food-related posts and recipes!