Since my Fridays usually consist of me visiting the farmers’ market and learning about new vegetables, I thought it would be fun to see how many kinds of produce I could fit into one recipe.
I love pasta. I love salads. They both find a way to fit into all of the seasons. They are just that good. This recipe is a wee bit longer than some of my other recipes, but do not be afraid. It’s broken down into sections and it is actually quite simple and fun to make. This pasta salad is so tasty and healthy.
Almost all of the ingredients I use here are from the local markets and therefore seasonal so please feel free to substitute any of the produce with more readily available items. For example, garlic scapes are more of an early summer item, but may easily be replaced by fresh garlic. Improvise with whatever vegetables make you feel good.
Get ready for all colors of the summer on your serving plate!
Summer Pasta Salad
About 4-5 servings
1 summer squash/zucchini, chopped (med. size)
6-7 fairy eggplants, chopped
6-7 rainbow carrots (substitute w/ baby carrots if desired)
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
Evoo, salt, pepper
2 trumpet mushrooms, chopped
1 sage stem
1 rosemary stem
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
4-5 garlic scapes, chopped (1” length)
½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
½ cup evoo
Salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup orecchiette, uncooked
4-6 Fourth of July tomatoes, quartered
½ cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the oven is warming up, wash the carrots, squash, and eggplants. Cut the squash widthwise into about ½” and the eggplants widthwise into 1”. Place the vegetables onto a roasting pan (about 9”X13”). Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, dried thyme, and cayenne pepper. Make sure all vegetables are coated evenly and place in the oven for about 25-30 min. or when carrots are tender. Turn the veggies over once midway through.
Let cool and taste for seasoning. Chop up carrots for later assembly.
In a pan, over medium heat, melt butter and add a drizzle of olive oil. Toss the garlic scapes and herbs in. When aromatic (about 2 min), throw in mushrooms. Season and stir occasionally. Once the mushrooms are brown and tender, add balsamic vinegar and turn up the heat and let the juice reduce for about 1 min.
Set aside and let cool. Remove the sage and rosemary.
In a measuring cup, squeeze lemon juice and remove any seeds that may fall out. Next, add parsley and then add olive oil until it hits the ½ cup mark. Include salt and pepper to taste – cayenne is optional but recommended for a healthy kick. Whisk gently until everything is mixed.
In a large bowl, add in cooked and drained orecchiette and quartered tomatoes. Pour in the dressing and lightly toss. The pasta may need to be seasoned a bit more before the rest of the ingredients go in – give it a taste test. Throw in the roasted veggies and mushrooms. Finally, top off with Parmesan and mix everything together.
Serve on top of mixed greens and may be served chilled.