OK, for this recipe, we're forgoing the chicken. Just this once, but I liked the result so much I wanted to share. This is pasta with a really simple pan sauce. For those days when you want something light, simple and really flavorful.
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 diced medium sized zucchini (shoulda picked it sooner, but it works)
- 3 diced farm fresh carrots
- 1 diced farm fresh green pepper
- 1 fresno pepper seeded and sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- olive oil
- good quality pasta
- zest of one lime
- juice of half that lime
- 6-7 leaves of basil
- a pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
- lots of salt for pasta water
- salt and pepper to taste
- parmesan cheese to taste
Make sure to get good quality import pasta, as it won't get covered up with a thick sauce.
Start the water to boil with a good amount of salt (think handfuls, not teaspoons) and cut up your veggies. Once the pasta water is boiling, cook pasta as directions indicate. Oil the pan and heat it to medium heat. Add the onions, and as usual, low and slow... cook until they are just turning translucent. Add nutmeg, basil, lime zest and garlic. Turn up heat and add all the other veggies, stirring every once in a while to get everything cooked and with just the beginnings of color.
Once the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat and add about half a cup or so of the pasta water to the veggies, be careful as it should steam up and spatter a bit. Drain the pasta and stir the veggies. Let the sauce cook down just a bit and then add the pasta to the pan with the veggies, add the lime juice and give it a good stir to incorporate. Turn off the heat and stir in some parmesan cheese and serve with more parm on the side.
The lime really brings this dish up several notches.
If I had the sense to take out some chicken from the freezer earlier, I would have sautéed the chicken and done a quick glaze with fresh tomatoes and basil to have on the side. Another variation that is similar to another dish I've done is to use bacon and it's fat as the initial fat for cooking everything else in. It makes it more rich and a little heavier, but would make it feel more like a meal if you are worried about that. Feel free to substitute lemon for the lime if that's what you have on hand.