Recipe: Summer Pasta with Any Veggies

When I first joined the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm down the street from us in New Paltz, I was a little overwhelmed. First off, I had to Google about half of the items in the weekly distribution. Once I figured out what I was looking at, coming up with something to do with the bounty was a challenge. A table full of steamed vegetables for dinner wasn't going to fly with my hungry husband or my own calorie deficit after 8 hours of training.

Since that first summer of CSA membership 3 years ago, I’ve developed a few pasta recipes into which I can incorporate the surprise assortment of CSA vegetables. Of these, my favorite is this quick summer pasta. 

It’s a cinch: Cut up two or three different vegetables (last week I used asparagus, sugar snap peas, and garlic scapes). While the pasta cooks, soften the vegetables in a big frying pan with a little salt and water until they’re just tender. When the pasta is very al dente, drain it and save a half-cup of the water. Add the pasta and the saved pasta water to the pan with the veggies. 

At this point, I like to add grape tomatoes (not from the CSA!) and a generous handful of shredded pecorino romano cheese. Cook all of this for a few minutes until warm. Top with more shredded cheese, freshly ground pepper, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.  --Bec