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Summer Vegetable Orzo Pasta

Summer Vegetable Orzo Pasta

Summer time food means a few specific things to me. Easy, fresh, and you want to keep coming back for more. I get my inspiration for the food I create from all different places – food blogs, magazines, farmers markets, a childhood craving – you name it! This summertime pasta was one hundred percent inspired by my friend Vern and his garden. Vern’s garden is a 10-ish foot plot of joy right out in the front of his house that’s brimming with veggie goodness – tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and more! 

Do you have friends who garden? If you do, go ahead and put in your veggie order now. If you don’t, I suggest you find one, because this summertime pasta deserves the best of the best. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 box of Orzo Pasta
  • 2 tablespoons each chopped basil, tyme, and parsley (reserve a generous pinch for garnish at the end)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
  • One lemon zested and cut into wedges
  • 2 – 3 cups tomatoes, chopped or 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 2 (very) large zucchini, quartered lengthwise and chopped
  • 5 ears sweet corn, corn kernels removed
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ½ cup heavy cream (I substituted non-dairy almond milk creamer)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 tsp butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Plenty of salt & pepper
  • Optional: Parmesan Cheese (about a cup)

Prepare

  1. Heat your oven to 425 degrees
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling add a very generous pinch of salt and cook the orzo to al dente. 
  3. Meanwhile, dump (that’s a technical term) your tomatoes in a cast iron skillet (or other oven-proof skillet / baking sheet) with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon garlic, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the tomatoes release their juices.
  4. While your tomatoes are roasting, heat the remaining olive oil, garlic, and 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy-bottomed, deep pot (like a dutch oven). Add the corn and cook until bright yellow and slightly crisp on the edges. Season well with salt and pepper. This process will take about 10 minutes. 
  5. Now, add in the zucchini with an additional pinch of salt and pepper. Let the zucchini cook for about 3 minutes just until it starts to soften (you do not want mushy zucchini).
  6. Add in the white wine, remaining butter, herbs, crushed red pepper, and lemon zest. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper and bring up to a bubble. While the sauce is bubbling, add the tomatoes plus all the juices. Allow this to combine and reduce into a heavenly sauce for 5 to 8 minutes. 
  7. By now, your orzo should be cooked. Add it to the pot along with the heavy cream and stir to combine. 
  8. Reduce the heat to low, add in the parmesan cheese if you’re using it, and allow the dish to thicken for about 5, maximum 10 minutes. 
  9. Serve in heaping delicious piles in indulgent big pasta bowls garnished with lemon wedges, a sprinkle of herbs, and cracked black pepper.