Have I ever mentioned how happy summertime produce makes me? Well, all produce makes me happy, really, but there’s just something about summertime produce that instantly brings a smile to my face. The colors are so bright and vibrant, the textures crispier, crunchier and juicier compared to the smoother textures of fall and winter produce; it all just inspires me to play around more with the simplicity of each fruit or vegetable rather than the spices and other additions that go into most dishes.
Case in point: my new favorite pasta. It’s nothing revolutionary or radically different, but its simplicity of ingredients, preparation, and flavors has me coming back to this dish time and time again. Using just five ingredients (okay, eight if you count the olive oil, salt, and pepper), three of which many of you with gardens will be able to find right in your back yard, this is one of those prime examples of simplicity being best. No bells and whistles, no expensive, complicated ingredients; just fresh zucchini and summer squash, juicy tomatoes, and plenty of garlic to go along with your favorite pasta.
In its regular state, this dish is a delicious meatless option that you can put into regular rotation for the Meatless Mondays so many folks are doing these days. But for you omnivores, it’s also a great way to help out with any poultry or seafood leftovers you may have in your kitchen. I’ve served this as an accompaniment to some roasted chicken and a nice salad for a light, yet satisfying summer meal; and other times I have tossed in a few shrimp to create a tasty, colorful entrée. I would imagine it would be a perfect side to some grilled fish and know it would probably be great as a base for a summer salad with a warm, inventive vinaigrette.
That’s why the simple veggie or fruit-based dishes are sometimes my absolute faves: there’s no limit to what you can do with them! Let’s check out this beautiful but super-easy recipe that will make even the most novice chef seem like a pro.