Creamy Summer Vegetable Pasta

This summer I've made a commitment to use up the prior week's vegetables from my CSA farm before I pick up the new bag each Tuesday. That can be tough, especially when we've eaten out a couple of times during the week (including dinner with my parents where my mom needed the Heimlich - never a dull moment!). So finding myself with quite a few things remaining, I threw together this summer vegetable pasta dish. Now I made this sinful with a generous dose of heavy cream, but you could make the same recipe, omit any cream or half and half, add a little pasta water at the end to create a bit of a pan sauce from the vegetables, and toss in the cheese for a MUCH healthier version. But if you're feeling like you can handle the treat, then by all means give this version a try!
When I was first learning to cook without a recipe, pasta dishes were my test ground. I discovered quite happily that it's hard to go wrong throwing things that sound good together into some pasta with some sort of sauce. In my case, I had a fennel bulb and some squash from my CSA and some Swiss chard, basil, and tomatoes from my own garden, so that's what I used. I first sauteed the squash, fennel and Swiss chard along with some garlic...
...then added the tomatoes, pasta, basil, cream, half and half, and some cheese. Always remove your pasta from the cooking water a minute or so before it's done and finish cooking it in the sauce to fully bring the two together.
This pasta would also work well with a combination of grilled vegetables or with the addition of some cooked chicken or shrimp. Salute!

Creamy Summer Vegetable Pasta
Serves 2-3

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow squash, diced
1 small fennel bulb, sliced thin
1 cup Swiss chard, sliced in ribbons
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup half and half
4 ounces penne pasta, cooked and drained
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add squash and fennel and cook until slightly softened. Add Swiss chard and garlic continue to cook until the chard begins to wilt. Add Basil, tomatoes, cream, and half and half, and simmer until slightly thickened and tomatoes are warmed through. Add pasta and cook together for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

2 comments:

Erin @ Closing Time said...

YUM!!! That looks delicious. I try to eat healthy foods overall, but it's the dairy (cream, cheese, etc) that always gets me!! :)

Cookie said...

What a great way to use all those wonderful summer veggies!

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