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Monday, July 25, 2011

Pasta mezzavera

Everyone knows pasta primavera...the heavily sauced pasta dish with tender early spring veggies.  This is pasta mezzavera, made with heartier mid-summer veggies, fresh herbs and a light lemon-infused olive oil.  I like using zucchini and broccoli, but any combination of fresh, seasonal produce will work.  For a slightly more rib-sticking meal, add a cup or two of cooked white beans.

Pasta Mezzavera
Makes 6 servings

1 lb. pasta, any type
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 small bunch broccoli, cut into small florets
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 clove garlic, grated
handful of fresh basil leaves
parmesan cheese to taste

To prep ahead, chop all ingredients as called for.  Measure out olive oil into a bowl.  Combine veggies in a bag or bowl, zest and garlic in another container and basil in another.  Fridge everything until cooking.

Boil pasta according to package directions.  Reserve a cup of cooking liquid before draining.  Drain about 1 minute before the time given on the package.

Heat 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat in large skillet.  Saute vegetables until lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, and set aside in a bowl.  Heat remaining olive oil, zest and garlic over medium-low heat.  Cook 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.  Return veggies to the sauce and keep warm. 

Drain pasta very well and stir sauce into the pasta.  Keep over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, adding some pasta water if it looks dry.  Stir in basil leaves and parmesan cheese, if desired. Pin It

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