And it’s blistering hot outside.
So I decided to make a summer pasta. A pasta dish with a hint of bright lemons and full of summer veggies. One of those summer veggies being my favorite: zucchini.
Zucchini almost always ends up in my pasta dishes in some way, shape, or form. It’s true. And I added fresh asparagus, mushrooms, and tomatoes, for a flavorful bonus.
This is a nice and light, summer-y pasta dish that can be eaten hot, warm, or cold. It’s a sauce-less pasta dish, with a generous squeeze of lemon juice. You’d be surprised how good lemon, olive oil and a pinch of salt can transform a pasta dish – or anything for that matter.
If you’re not a squash lover, play around with your veggies a bit. Broccoli, peppers, kale – you can take this pasta in a bunch of different directions, or you can eat it on its own, sans veggies.
Even a simple, classic combo of fresh tomatoes and basil would do wonders with this pasta. Have fun with it.
I have to throw this out there, too – this pasta makes for a perfect al fresco meal! So if you’re experiencing a hot day, but perfect weather come dinner time, then take this outside for an outdoors get together with friends or family. Mark and I did just that last week, on a particularly hot day, but once the sun went down, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect to eat outside.
Ingredients – More or less fresh vegetables can be used in this dish. It’s completely up to your taste.
Vegan option: Use a vegan based pasta, and omit the cheese.
1 package of dried angel hair pasta, or ziti style pasta
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 1/2 lemons)
2 teaspoons of lemon zest (about 1 1/2 lemons)
1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
3-4 fresh asparagus spears, ends removed and cut into 1″ pieces
4-5 fresh white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 green zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
Have zucchini, mushrooms, and asparagus, chopped and placed into a bowl. Keep halved tomatoes in a separate small bowl for later use (tomatoes will be added at the very end).
Prepare pasta according to package (with angel hair pasta, that’s pretty much 3-4 minutes). Once pasta is ready to be drained, pour in the bowl of fresh zucchini, mushrooms, and asparagus into the boiling pasta water, for flash blanching (about 1-2 seconds). Drain pasta and veggies immediately into a colander. Once completely drained, pour pasta and veggies into a large serving bowl, and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste (one pinch at a time). Mix in Parmesan. Now for the last step, gently toss in fresh tomato halves. Serve hot, warm or cold.