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!
- 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)
- Heat your oven to 425 degrees
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- By now, your orzo should be cooked. Add it to the pot along with the heavy cream and stir to combine.
- 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.
- Serve in heaping delicious piles in indulgent big pasta bowls garnished with lemon wedges, a sprinkle of herbs, and cracked black pepper.