Quick pasta recipes for spring and summer

Michele Borboa, MS

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The myriad of pasta shapes and the fact it is easy to prepare makes pasta the perfect spring and summer dish when you don't want to spend a lot of time cooking - either because you'd rather be outside or because it's too hot to fire up the oven (or both!). The following pasta recipes feature a variety of vegetables and each has it's own light and lovely sauce. Serve as a vegetarian entree or a satisfying side-dish.

bow-tie-pasta

Quick pasta recipes

Pasta with Peas and Prosciutto

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 pound large shell pasta
  • 2 to 3 cups shelled fresh peas
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 ounces thin sliced prosciutto, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until butter melts. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until wine reduces and thickens. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Place skillet back on stove over medium heat. Add peas and stir to coat. Add pasta, Parmesan, parsley and prosciutto, tossing to coat. Add some of the pasta water if pasta seems dry. Serve garnished with walnuts.

soba

Asparagus and Pasta with Peanut Sauce

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti or soba noodles
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter, if preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 pound thin asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces, blanched tender
  • 4 green onions, chopped, green and white parts
  • 4 cup finely chopped peanuts or almonds (match the nut butter you use) 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Cook spaghetti or soba noodles according to package directions while making sauce. Drain in colander.
  2. Meanwhile, place hoisin, nut butter, vinegar, chili sauce, sesame oil and soy sauce in a food processor and blend. Place drained noodles back in pot, over medium heat, and add sauce, tossing to coat.
  3. Add asparagus and green onions, tossing to coat. Divide among 8 bowls and garnish with nuts and cilantro. Serve warm.

Zucchini and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bow-tie pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cups diced zucchini
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Zest and juice of small lemon
  • 1 (5 to 6.5-ounce) package garlic and herb spreadable cheese (like Boursin)
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Freshly grated Romano cheese
  • Baby basil leaves

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente while sautéing zucchini. Drain in a colander.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and cook, stirring often, until fork tender. Season with salt and pepper and stir in lemon zest and juice.
  3. Add pasta back to pot and place over medium heat. Add cooked zucchini, tossing to combine. Add spreadable cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and white wine, stirring until cheese is melted and ingredients are well-coated. Divide among 8 bowls and garnish with Romano cheese and basil. Serve warm.

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Michele Borboa, MS
Michele Borboa, MS is a contributing editor for SheKnows.com specializing in health, fitness, and all things food. She is a veteran health and fitness professional, personal chef, and mom in Bozeman, Montana. She is also the author of the time-saving cookbook Make-Ahead Meals Made Healthy (Fair Winds Press, July 2011). You can contact Michele at michele.borboa@sheknows.com or give her a tweet at http://twitter.com/micheleeborboa.

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