Welcome to Cook This Tonight! Every week we’ll bring you an original Plated recipe fresh off our menus to help lessen the effort of last-minute weeknight dinner planning, so you can make time for what’s worth it.
We can’t think of a better way to get ready for the first official day of summer than with this super speedy, family friendly, veggie-packed pasta. Inspired by our love of classic pasta salad, this recipe tosses rotini with summer produce and a luxurious mascarpone and garlic cream sauce.
Summer Vegetable Pasta
1 pound zucchini
12 ounces summer squash
½ cup roasted red peppers
2 cloves garlic
¾ pint cherry tomatoes
12 ounces rotini
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
¼ ounce basil, divided
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Rinse all produce. Halve zucchini and summer squash lengthwise; cut crosswise into ¼-inch half-moons, discarding ends. Roughly chop roasted red peppers. Mince garlic.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large high-sided pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add zucchini, summer squash, and whole cherry tomatoes. Sauté, stirring, until lightly browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Season with ¾ teaspoon salt and black pepper as desired.
3. While vegetables cook, season boiling water generously with salt. Stir in rotini and cook until al dente, 7 minutes. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water, then drain and return to pot, off heat. While it cooks, pasta releases starches into the boiling water. Adding some reserved pasta water to the sauce will help it cling to the noodles. It’s easiest to reserve this water in a liquid measuring cup, if you have one. Add 1 tablespoon butter to rotini and toss to coat—this is a great task for a kitchen helper. Set aside until Step 5.
4. While rotini cooks, roughly chop or tear basil leaves, discarding stems (a helper can also do this part). Push vegetables to edges of pan, still over medium-high heat. Add remaining butter to center of pan. When butter is foamy, add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 2 minutes. Sautéing the garlic after the vegetables have started cooking ensures it won’t burn before they’re tender. Remove pan from heat. Stir in mascarpone, half of Parmesan, and half of basil. Set aside until rotini is cooked.
5. Once rotini is cooked, add roasted red peppers and vegetables and sauce to pot and toss to combine. Adding 1 tablespoon at a time, stir in reserved pasta cooking water until sauce is silky and clings to pasta (you likely won’t need to use all of the water). Taste and add salt and black pepper as desired.
6. Divide summer vegetable pasta among serving bowls. Garnish with remaining basil and remaining Parmesan.
Check out the 2-serving version of this dish for a delicious desk lunch.
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