It’s easy to use local ingredients in your cooking this time of year with the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables at area farmers markets and local farm stores. Right now, you can find an array of different peppers, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, fresh herbs, corn, melons, blueberries and much more.
Shopping local farm stands will give you an opportunity to purchase items freshly picked and at the peak of ripeness. You also can talk directly to the grower, who can help with any questions you have. Best of all, you are investing in our local economy and local farms. All the local vegetables available now are ideal for this summer pasta primavera. I also found a great watermelon for the Mojito recipe below.
SUMMER PASTA PRIMAVERA
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium yellow squash, sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 pint red cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup yellow grape tomatoes
1 cup fresh beans or snow peas
1 ear grilled corn, cut from cob.
2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
6 fresh basil leaves cut into strips
1 small yellow onion, diced (about ¼ cup)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 small jalapeno pepper or other hot pepper, finely chopped (optional; it adds a real zing)
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound pasta, cooked
1 tablespoon butter
Toss all vegetables except corn together with ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Spread evenly on a baking pan and roast the vegetables in a 425-degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until cooked and beginning to brown a bit. Boil the pasta in salted water while the vegetables are cooking and reserve about a cup of the pasta liquid.
Sauté the onion and garlic with the remaining ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil on a stovetop until onions are translucent. Include the jalapeno or hot pepper in the sauté pan if you are using it.
Toss all cooked ingredients together in a large bowl, add some of the cooking liquid if needed for further moisture. Stir in juice from half a lemon, the fresh basil, parsley, butter and Parmesan. Sprinkle the grilled corn over the top and serve immediately. Enjoy!
1 cup fresh seedless watermelon cut into chunks
8 leaves fresh mint
3 ounces light rum
1 ounce melon liquor
1 teaspoon simple syrup
Muddle the mint with the fresh lime juice from ½ lime. Put all ingredients, except club soda, in a shaker. Shake all vigorously. Pour into tall glasses and top with club soda. Garnish with additional fresh mint. Serve immediately.