It’s midsummer and the farm stands are packed! Full of zucchini, broccoli, green beans, kale, super ripe tomatoes, and so much more! That means it’s time to pick your favorites and make a light, fresh, and healthy summer pasta.
Ready for another veggie centric dinner? I know I am! During the summer when the produce is overflowing and everything is so fresh I can’t get enough light vegetarian and vegan meals.
And, yes, today’s meal is VEGAN as written with some vegetarian and meat-light variations you can use if you’re just trying to get meat out of the center of your diet.
How do you make simple summer pasta?
To make summer pasta, first make a raw tomato sauce with ripe tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar. Then cook pasta and veggies. Toss everything together and top with basil.
Choose your veggies
While you must have tomatoes, the rest of the veggies are up to you! To keep things simple, I like to use veggies which can be cooked with the pasta or left raw. Though of course you can use a veggie which needs to be sauteed or roasted if you prefer.
Cooked with the pasta: Broccoli (which I used), diced Zucchini, Cauliflower, Green Beans, Leafy Greens (like kale, chard, or spinach).
Left raw: Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, shredded Carrots, spiralized Zucchini, fresh Corn cut from the cob, and Onions.
Make a raw tomato sauce
Here is where the tomatoes come in! Fresh and ripe tomatoes with a little oil and vinegar and some garlic make an amazing raw tomato sauce when tossed with hot pasta. This is the base of your meal.
Cook your pasta (and any veggies which need cooking)
You’ve got this bit! Cook your pasta in salted water and add the veggies into the last few minutes.
Toss together the summer pasta
Scoop out some of the water, drain the pasta, and put it back in the pot with the water. Cook it all together for a couple of minutes to make a thick sauce. And then toss it all with the raw tomato sauce in your bowl. Yum!
Tip: If you want to add parmesan cheese to the recipe a great time to do so is while you are cooking down the pasta to make the sauce. The parmesan will melt right in.
Choose any optional add ins
Optional add ins to top the pasta (and maybe add a little protein to the party) include diced cheese, toasted nuts, chickpeas or other beans, and diced up bits of leftover meats from previous meals.
If you try my recipe for Farm Stand Summer Pasta, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
Simple Summer Farm Stand Pasta
- 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 10-12 oz short pasta, such as such as cavatappi, penne, or fusilli
- 4 cups chopped veggies, see note
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, red pepper flakes, kosher salt and any veggies you aren't cooking. (So any uncooked veggies from the list below would be added here.)
- Add the pasta to the pot. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- When the pasta has 3 minutes left, add any veggies you are cooking to the pot with the pasta.
- Scoop out 1 cup of pasta water. Then drain the pasta and veggies.
- Toss the pasta, cooked veggies, and reserved pasta water in the cooking pot. Cook together for about 2 minutes, until the water is thick and clings to the pasta. If you are adding parmesan put it in now.
- Pour the pasta into the bowl with the tomatoes. Add the basil. Toss everything together. Serve.
- Chopped Veggies: Any vegetables should be cut into small bite sized pieces or sliced thinly if they're greens.
- Cook with the pasta: broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and summer squash, green beans, hearty greens (kale, spinach, chard)
- Add raw: Corn kernels, onion, bell peppers, cucumbers, shredded carrots, spiralized zucchini, baby greens
- Optional add ins: Parmesan cheese, diced fresh mozzarella, toasted nuts, chickpeas or other beans, diced leftover chicken, diced salami
- Garlic: If you want to mellow the garlic flavor, cook it in the boiling water for 30 seconds before mincing it.
- Recipe Flow: When making the recipe I get the pasta water going and use the time it takes for the water to boil and the pasta to cook to cut up the broccoli (or other veggies to cook) and then work on the tomatoes and uncooked veggies.
- Eating Cold: If you want to have the pasta as a cold salad, add another tablespoon of vinegar, a little more salt, and maybe a bit more red pepper flakes. My daughter prefers it cold and finds it needs a little more seasoning across the board.