Summer Veggie Spaghetti

When the markets are full of sweet little zucchini and ripe juicy tomatoes, I use them to whip together this yummy Summer Veggie Spaghetti. Full of fresh summer flavors, it's one of the best recipes for using wholewheat pasta. It's fast to make and really, really good to eat in fact it's one of my favorites. It's got everything. Try it. 

AuthorAnn Gaffney
RatingDifficultyBeginner

In my experience, the water comes to a boil in about 20 minutes. By that time the sauce for your summer veggie spaghetti will be nearly finished. It's fast!

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Summer-Veggie-Spaghetti
Yields4 Servings
Prep Time20 minsCook Time25 minsTotal Time45 mins
 6 qts water(see Ann's Tips)
 8 oz whole wheat or farro spaghetti
 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 2 cloves garlic sliced
 1 small dried red chili pepper. Optional Keep whole - do not crumble or it will add too much heat!
 4 small zucchini, deseeded, cut in a small dice
 2 ripe, medium beefsteak tomatoes
 1 cup frozen peas
 1 cup loosely packed torn fresh basil leaves
 grated pecorino cheese to sprinkle over the pastaOptional (see Ann's Tips)
 1 tbsp salt, divided or to taste
1

In a large pot set the water on to boil with all but 1 teaspoon of the salt. Measure the pasta - 2 ounces per person. When the water comes to a rolling boil (about 20 minutes), add the pasta and cook 1 minute less than the packet instructions. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water. Drain. (See Ann's Tips)

2

Meanwhile, start the sauce: heat the oil in a heavy saute pan over a medium-high flame. When it starts to ripple add the sliced garlic and the hot pepper if using. As soon as the garlic starts to color, about 1-2 minutes, add the diced zucchini to the pan. Sprinkle with salt. Stir to mix. Saute the diced zucchini until they are golden brown and lightly caramelized. About 8 minutes

3

While the zucchini are cooking, prep the tomatoes: cut out the cores round the stem end then halve the tomatoes. Squeeze out the seeds over a bowl. Discard. Roughly dice the flesh. Set aside until the zucchini are ready.

4

When the zucchini are browned, add the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt. Cook stirring over a medium-high flame until the tomatoes start to break down. If the veggies look dry add 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Continue to cook down until the tomatoes look pulpy, about 8 minutes, add water to the sauce as needed, 1/4 cup at a time.

5

Add the frozen peas. Stir to mix. Cook 1 minute. Add a little more of the pasta water if it looks dry. Add the torn basil, stir to mix. Immediately add the cooked pasta to the pan. Toss with the sauce. Cook 1 minute or until the pasta is just 'al dente'. Divide out into 4 bowls. Eat sprinkled with pecorino cheese.

Ann's Tips
6

In my experience, the water comes to a boil in about 20 minutes. By that time the sauce will be nearly finished - you'll probably be on step 4 by then. If that's the case, just pull the pasta water straight from the pot to moisten the sauce as needed, reserving only 1/2 cup when you drain the pasta. The pasta water has a lot of flavor and will add to the yumminess of your sauce as it cooks down.
FYI I sometimes add a tablespoon of grated pecorino the sauce along with the peas to make it a little creamy.

Ingredients

 6 qts water(see Ann's Tips)
 8 oz whole wheat or farro spaghetti
 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 2 cloves garlic sliced
 1 small dried red chili pepper. Optional Keep whole - do not crumble or it will add too much heat!
 4 small zucchini, deseeded, cut in a small dice
 2 ripe, medium beefsteak tomatoes
 1 cup frozen peas
 1 cup loosely packed torn fresh basil leaves
 grated pecorino cheese to sprinkle over the pastaOptional (see Ann's Tips)
 1 tbsp salt, divided or to taste

Directions

1

In a large pot set the water on to boil with all but 1 teaspoon of the salt. Measure the pasta - 2 ounces per person. When the water comes to a rolling boil (about 20 minutes), add the pasta and cook 1 minute less than the packet instructions. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water. Drain. (See Ann's Tips)

2

Meanwhile, start the sauce: heat the oil in a heavy saute pan over a medium-high flame. When it starts to ripple add the sliced garlic and the hot pepper if using. As soon as the garlic starts to color, about 1-2 minutes, add the diced zucchini to the pan. Sprinkle with salt. Stir to mix. Saute the diced zucchini until they are golden brown and lightly caramelized. About 8 minutes

3

While the zucchini are cooking, prep the tomatoes: cut out the cores round the stem end then halve the tomatoes. Squeeze out the seeds over a bowl. Discard. Roughly dice the flesh. Set aside until the zucchini are ready.

4

When the zucchini are browned, add the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt. Cook stirring over a medium-high flame until the tomatoes start to break down. If the veggies look dry add 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Continue to cook down until the tomatoes look pulpy, about 8 minutes, add water to the sauce as needed, 1/4 cup at a time.

5

Add the frozen peas. Stir to mix. Cook 1 minute. Add a little more of the pasta water if it looks dry. Add the torn basil, stir to mix. Immediately add the cooked pasta to the pan. Toss with the sauce. Cook 1 minute or until the pasta is just 'al dente'. Divide out into 4 bowls. Eat sprinkled with pecorino cheese.

Ann's Tips
6

In my experience, the water comes to a boil in about 20 minutes. By that time the sauce will be nearly finished - you'll probably be on step 4 by then. If that's the case, just pull the pasta water straight from the pot to moisten the sauce as needed, reserving only 1/2 cup when you drain the pasta. The pasta water has a lot of flavor and will add to the yumminess of your sauce as it cooks down.
FYI I sometimes add a tablespoon of grated pecorino the sauce along with the peas to make it a little creamy.

Summer Veggie Spaghetti

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