There’s nothing worse than a rainy day during your beach vacation. Unfortunately, we’ve had a few dreary days here on the Cape, and the monotony of spending your entire day indoors when all you want to do is bask in the sun was getting to me. To escape the boredom that was ensuing, my mom and I decided to head to the Falmouth Harbor to walk amongst the yachts and sailboats that dock there. We never quite made it though, as we were distracted by the Falmouth Farmer’s Market that was conveniently positioned on our route to the harbor. We stopped in to check it out, and immediately found inspiration for a quick, delicious, and healthy dinner.
The stands were overflowing with gorgeous vegetables, and we decided on a summer pasta starring our fresh picks from the market.
Too often people avoid pasta because it has “too many carbs”, but if you mix in lots of fresh veggies instead of store-bought pasta sauce, the result is a light, healthy pasta that you won’t feel guilty about.
Since there is grill here, I try to use it any chance I get. But never let the lack of tools get in your way in the kitchen, as Melissa Clark so aptly described in her recent article in the NYTImes. If you don’t have a grill, you can easily roast the vegetables in your oven at 400°F for 30-40 minutes until the center of your veggies are soft and the skin is browned and crispy. Feel free to improvise with this recipe, if you have broccoli rabe, swiss chard, or even fresh baby spinach on hand, substitute it for the kale. Peppers, fennel, snap peas, or any of your favorite summer vegetables will work in this dish, so be inventive and have fun in the kitchen!
Fusilli Pasta with Grilled Summer Vegetables and Lemon
- 1 lb fusilli pasta (or substitute your favorite type)
- 3 medium yellow squash
- 2 medium zucchini
- 3 ripe tomatoes
- 2 large red onions
- 1 large bunch of kale
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 cloves of garlic – diced
- 5 basil leaves – roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese – freshly grated
- 2 lemons
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Put a large pot of water, with salt, on to boil. Once boiling, add your pasta and cook (according to the instructions on the box) until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water when you drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, cut the squash, zucchini, tomatoes and onions in half and coat in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Skewer the onions as they tend to fall apart on the grill. Put everything but the tomatoes on the grill until charred, about 10-15 minutes (onions may take a bit longer). Add the tomatoes to cook for just five minute (they need much less time on the grill). While your veggies are on the grill and your pasta is cooking, add 3 tbs of olive oil to a large saute pan, and once the oil is hot, add your garlic. Saute for a few minutes, and then add the kale, 1/2 cup white wine and a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute until kale is wilted and tender.
Once your veggies are done on the grill, let them cool for 5 minutes and coarsely chop. Add them to the saute pan with the kale, and then add your drained fusilli. Add 2-3 tbs of olive oil, juice and zest of lemon, basil, cheese, salt and pepper and toss everything together. If pasta seems dry, add a few tbs at a time of your pasta water until pasta looks moist. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a sprig of basil.