Last week, a fire started in the house. The dishwasher malfunctioned and failed to draw water, and a fire started underneath, where I was unable to put it out. I was the only person home and it was so scary to see this fire starting and not being able to do anything about it. The fire travelled along the walls and ceiling into the bedrooms. Windows shattered, paint boiled. I’ve been trying to be really positive about it, but I’ve definitely had some times where I just want to curl up into a ball and cry. Losing everything is hard, even though it’s just stuff.
Because I haven’t really had a home for the last little while, I’ve been relying on quick and easy meals that I can make in my sister’s or friend’s kitchens without staying too long and annoying them. It’s been kind of neat staying in a city though, because I have easy farmers’ market access! This meal embodies those things – fast, fresh, and seasonal.
I know it’s not really spring anymore in most of the northern hemisphere, but these vegetables are just coming into season where I live. If you can’t find them at the farmers’ markets anymore, you’ll still be able to get the ingredients at a supermarket. If, like me, you live in the weird and bug filled climate of central Canada, you should be able to find this stuff locally (hooray!) and make this bright pasta that looks as good as it tastes.
I really dig pasta and this one is kind of saucy in a sneaky way. It doesn’t actually have a sauce, but it’s fresh tasting and fabulous. The addition of a little noodle water mustn’t be left out, because that’s where the sneaky sauciness comes from. This dish was made in the time it took to cook the pasta, so it’s quick ‘n easy. This recipe is vegan if you don’t include the parmesan.
1 package linguine (I used the smart kind)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup red onion, diced
1 small green zucchini, sliced
500 grams asparagus, or a decent sized bunch
6 stalks broccolini, sliced
Garlic to taste, chopped (I used 7 cloves)
A big handful of baby kale, chopped
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
5-6 leaves fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional parmesan to taste
Place the water on to boil for the noodles. Once it comes to a boil, add a pretty good amount of salt to season the water.
While you’re waiting for that, wash and slice the vegetables and heat the oil over medium heat in a large pan. You’ll be tossing the pasta in this pan so make sure it can handle that. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onion and sauté until almost translucent. Add the zucchini, asparagus, and broccolini, and cook until the broccolini is turning bright green. Toss in the garlic and kale and cook for about another minute, or until the garlic is fragrant.
Add the peas to the pot with the pasta a couple of minutes before it finishes cooking. When the pasta is ready, take about 1/4 cup of the cooking water and add it to the vegetables. Drain the pasta and let it sit for a minute. While it’s draining, add the basil to the vegetables and season to taste. Toss the pasta with the vegetables and top with parmesan if you’d like.
This is a simple and delicious meal that sort of kicks spaghetti’s butt in the summer. It’s extra fun because it has both broccolini and asparagus, and since both of them give your pee that interesting smell, it’s doubled when you eat this. Enjoy!
Note: If you can’t get broccolini, regular broccoli can be used in its place.