This is my favorite time of the year. The weather has turned, and we're enjoying warmer days. Birds are rushing about, full of rising hormones, preparing to raise their families. I spend more time outdoors, pruning and taking in the promise of spring. This weekend I'll begin to prepare my small garden for the
coming plantings, daydreaming about vine ripened tomatoes, fresh basil, peppers, and green beans. I long for food full of color and crunchy vegetables, so this simple dish of finely chopped carrots, shallots, broccoli, and red bell peppers, tossed with spaghetti, pecorino cheese and toasted breadcrumbs pretty much filled the bill. Isn't it nice that nature uses color to draw our eye to the healthiest foods? Cheetos being an exception.
This is another recipe where you pull it together as you see fit. You can add cream to the vegetables and create pasta prima vera. Add seafood or any other protein you see fit. And the vegetables can be whatever you want. If I had asparagus, fresh peas, and escarole, I would have added that.
This is my submission to Presto Pasta Night, which was started by the wonderful Ruth at Once Upon A Feast. Each Friday Ruth has a recap of wonderful pasta recipes from bloggers from all over the world. So, do stop by and check it out.
Spaghetti With Confetti Vegetables, And Toasted Bread Crumbs
Use whatever vegetables you want. Works as a side dish or a main dish, with cheese or protein added. Of course, this is all a suggestion--use more vegetables or This recipe uses the word "about" a lot because I didn't measure.
About 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
About 1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli or rabe
About 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
About 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
About 1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 heaping teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme (or herb of your choice)
About 1/2 cup toasted breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound spaghetti
pasta water as needed
salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a skillet or saute pan until hot and saute the vegetables, thyme, and garlic until softened. I like mine crunchy, (cooked about 2 minutes) but cook them to your liking. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat well salted water for the pasta and cook it until done. Before draining the pasta, reserve a cup of the pasta water. Put the pasta back into the cooking pot and add the veggy mixture and mix well. Add some of the pasta water if it seems dry. Add the parsley, bread crumbs, cheese and and toss again. Taste for seasoning and serve. You can garnish the pasta with more cheese and breadcrumbs,g if you like.