- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic about 6 cloves
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 zucchini cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 can cannelini or great northern beans drained
- 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts drained
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- Black pepper to taste
- 8 ounces pasta rotini or farfale work well
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium high heat and saute minced garlic for about 1 minute.
- Add in zucchini and cherry tomatoes, cook for about 5 minutes until starting to soften.
- Lower heat to medium and stir in beans, artichoke hearts, lemon juice, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Cook for another 5 minutes, add in butter and allow to melt then remove from heat.
- Combine sauce with pasta and serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.
Obligatory Fictional Backstory
While trekking and mapping the Sahara back in the 70’s when I had a stint as a cartographer, I got a craving for a good, hearty meal. And water. Gallons and gallons of water. Rivers of water, fresh and cool, filling up buckets and streams… Anyways, as I was creating this recipe in my head I witnessed a road runner savagely beating a naked mole rat to death on a rock while holding it in its beak. The blood was everywhere, the mole rat looked a bit like chicken, and after a bit of gagging and vomiting I changed the recipe to a vegetarian summer pasta.
If you have a husband like mine, who vocally expresses his distaste for beans, you can blend them up in a food processor before adding them. The sauce will be a little thicker but no one will know that there are beans in it. Except your kids. Kids always know, somehow. They can’t find a toy that’s sitting in the middle of the floor in an otherwise empty room, but they can find a new food item that they aren’t sure they’ll like, by golly.
I was proud of my oldest though, he did at least try the zucchini but decided he doesn’t like it. The youngest put it on my plate and said “No.” Eventually he’ll come around, I hope. As of right now I am the only person in the family who likes zucchini.
I called this Summer Pasta because it incorporates things that are in season in the summer (duh) plus it won’t heat up your house and cause your air conditioning bills to skyrocket because it went from 75 degrees to 95 degrees practically overnight (gotta love Missouri). Jim Gaffigan sums it up well in this clip.
Other optional additions are bell peppers, onions, asparagus (add any of the aforementioned before the tomatoes and zucchini because they will take longer to cook), peas (add at the end if using frozen peas, and for the love of God DO NOT USE CANNED PEAS). If you need to make it gluten free, boil up some quartered baby red potatoes and toss them in instead of the pasta.
Want another quick vegetarian meal? Check out our Fried Rice recipe!
Why on earth does everyone love summer so much??? I mean aside from the awesome produce that’s in season, which let’s be honest with the invention of cross country and cross continent transport you can get decent produce any time of the year, it’s ridiculously hot, at least in the Midwest, like annoyingly so, it’s humid and sticky, you can get a sunburn by looking out the window (at least we do, because we are mighty white like Jim Gaffigan who says he is related to a polar bear), there are only so many layers of clothes you can remove before people start looking at you crossways,
the electric company increases the cost of service at just the same time as you need an increase in service because your ancient air conditioning unit draws as much power as a Soviet era refrigerator and runs constantly from May to October, and let’s face it NO ONE has a “beach body” even if they followed all the fad diets because food is more important than fans, fam, and I had the misfortune of having a summer baby so I not only looked like a gigantic pregnant sow I was covered in sweat and stunk like a sty for the whole summer.
Fall is WAAAY better than summer; I love the colors, the coolness, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, soups and stews, sweatshirts, not football, football is dumb, hot coffee, hot chocolate with marshmallows (I may attempt to make homemade marshmallows this year using Alton Brown’s recipe), bonfires, dead bugs (seriously, mosquitoes can go to hell), cute boots,
caramel (pronounced kaer-ah-mel, NOT car-mel) apples, spiced apple cider, warm apple pie, new seasons of your favorite TV shows, although that seems to be going by the wayside now that the majority of homes have streaming services rather than cable but I think a lot of them are following the same type of release schedules as cable does anyway, with the advantage of being able to binge watch an entire season with no commercials,
butter starts going down in price with the anticipation of upcoming holidays, sweet potatoes, sweet potato casserole (I will post a recipe as soon as the weather cools down), fall festivals, funnel cakes (okay I know a lot of these reasons are based around food but this is a food blog after all so cut me some slack), little kids look super cute in flannel and jeans, me less so but hey it’s comfortable,
you don’t have to mow the grass nearly as often, you might have to rake more often but then you get a huge pile of leaves to jump in which is more fun than jumping in a pile of cut grass, the squirrels start getting super fluffy tails, if you have an attic fan you can open the windows and turn it on and save a ton on air conditioning, that’s all I can think of at the moment but it seems like enough. Fall > Summer.