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PASTA a la summer

August 02, 2012

...summer in each bite.

[caption id="attachment_1569" align="aligncenter" width="614"] 2012 © COPYRIGHT KAJAL DHABALIA, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.[/caption] I just LOVE fresh veggies &  herb pasta dishes in the summer....they say SUMMER with every bite! My favorite combination is fresh corn, red bells, zucchini, tomatoes and LOTS of fresh basil! It's even better when some of these delectables can come from your own backyard! Now I'm going to share a secret with you....my secret ingredient in most of my vegetarian Italian dishes is crushed fennel....this amazing spice gives all the dishes a very hearty Italian flavor that you usually find in Sicilian style dishes....it's subtle but flavorful. This summer one of my closest friends from highschool/ college came to visit with her family. They are Italian by heritage so I was a little hesitant to make Italian :)....but they had been on a big road trip, so I thought maybe some home cooked pasta...some comfort food would be good. I'm thrilled to say that they really enjoyed this dish...best of all they even asked for the recipe :)....so this one's for the Castelli Family! I love you Teresa!

PASTA a la summer (serves 8)


  • 2 fresh cobs of corn, husked, and cut off from the cob
  • 1 big red bell peppers (or 2 small), washed and sliced
  • 4 cups zucchini, washed and sliced VERY thin
  • 3 cups basil, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida or 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 lb dry pasta, cooked to the consistency you like (I usually use brown rice pasta and cook the pasta al dente)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
DIRECTIONS for cooking
  1. In large, deep saucepan heat olive oil on medium. Once heated, add crushed fennel seeds, black pepper, hing/ garlic, then stir gently and add the fresh basil. These steps infuse the oil with these amazing flavors.
  2. Next add red bell peppers and  corn and saute for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Following this add the zucchini and salt, and stir thoroughly. Cover pan with lid for 3 -4 minutes or until zucchini is cooked (this will happen fast because of the thin cut).
  4. Once veggies are cooked add the pasta and parmesan and then toss gently until completely combined.
  5. Enjoy immediately!
  • Replace parmesan with vegan parmesan.
  • If you use rice pasta, it's totally gluten-free!

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