One of the things I love about eating in the summer is the ability to throw together quick, healthy dishes using fresh, local ingredients. I’m especially fond of one skillet meals which take only minutes to prepare, leaving more time to go outside and play in my gardens. We’ll call this particular recipe a variation on a theme, and I’ll show you how you can change it up, depending on the ingredients you have on hand.
The dish revolves around whole wheat pasta, seasonal vegetables, and some type of protein. By changing the veggies and protein, the dish can be completely transformed. The version I give below is rather Italian. Early this fall I might go with squash, arugula, sage, and goat cheese. Another fall combo is carrots, Brussels sprouts, pancetta or bacon, and pecorino cheese. In the spring you could go with fettuccine, asparagus, parsley, and Gorgonzola. I’ve even been known to use eggs as my protein, but cheese is my favorite. Some of the fresh cheese I make includes chèvre, mozzarella, and queso blanco. We’ll talk about cheese at some later date! If you would like something a little heartier, you can use leftover chicken, shrimp, or red meat as your protein. Just remember, the point of this recipe is to be quick, so use leftovers!
Pasta with Summer Vegetables Pesto and Feta
1/2 an onion, roughly chopped or sliced
2 to 4 baby zucchini, halved and sliced lengthwise
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
8 ounces organic whole wheat pasta, cooked and drained
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 to 4 tablespoons pesto
4 ounces feta, cut into cubes
Olive oil for cooking
Once you have your ingredients chopped, sliced, and cubed, assemble them next to your skillet. Cooking will go really fast.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in your skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and cook for about 30 seconds. Next add zucchini and garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add pasta and half the tomatoes and cook for 30 seconds to a minute, or until everything is heated through. Finally, add pesto, feta, and the last half of the tomatoes. Stir everything together to thoroughly mix and then pull it off the heat.