|Vegetable and Pasta Siciliano
3 pounds assorted quick cooking veggies*
1/2 pound spaghettini or spaghetti, broken in half
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
pinches of crushed red and cracked black pepper (optional)
grated Parmigiano Reggiano, pecorino or your favorite
** Variation: Vodka or Marinara sauce
Wash and prepare veggies* - cutting them into thin slivers about 2-3 inches long. Ideally they all should cook in the same amount of time - so harder veggies will have to be blanched or cut into thinner slivers.
Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions - pasta may take a little longer at our altitude.
Meanwhile, steam veggies to crisp tender - about 2-4 minutes depending on veggies and conditions. If you cook in advance or are afraid you overcooked them, shock in ice water to chill.
Meanwhile, poach garlic slowly in olive oil at a low temperature until translucent - cool pan slightly.
Toss prepared pasta and veggies in olive oil with pinches of crushed red pepper and/or black pepper (if using), warming to heat veggies through. A splash of the pasta cooking water is a nice touch. Serve plenty of with grated Parmigiano Reggiano, grindings of pepper and pinches of salt (preferably flaky fleur de sel). Also great topped with fresh herbs.
* Chef’s Notes: Excellent candidates include asparagus, colorful peppers, hot peppers, summer squashes (centers removed), snap peas, onions, celery, cabbage, carrots, French cut and blanched green beans and broccoli stems.
** Variation: replace garlic and oil with hot prepared Vodka or Marinara sauce - dee-lish!
- Chef Mick (Michaelangelo) Rosacci, www.TonysMarket.com
-- www.TonyRosacciCatering.com -- http://supper-is-ready.blogspot.com/