Mary Anne's Summertime Pasta Primavera

      Is your garden overflowing with lots of fresh veggies? Spring veggies benefit with a quick sauteing that will delight your entire family. Plus, there is no cream here, just the rich flavors of fresh-picked produce brought to life with olive oil, garlic and onion. A perfect summer's eve dish!

      16 ounces penne or rotini pasta

      1 cup reserved pasta water

      2- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

      2-4 cloves garlic, depending on taste, minced

      1 medium-size onion, diced

      2 medium-size yellow squash, peeled and diced

      2 medium-size zucchini, peeled and diced

      1 red, orange, yellow bell pepper, de-stemmed, de-seeded and diced

      1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not in olive oil)

      1/2 cup shredded carrots

      Handful fresh basil, snipped or torn

      Red pepper flakes, optional, to taste

      2 Tablespoons sliced jalapenos (jar), drained, optional


      1/4 cup fresh jalapenos, de-stemmed, de-seeded and diced tiny, optional

      4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, optional

      Salt and pepper, to taste

      1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnishing

      • Cook pasta according to directions on package in salted water. Drain, but do not rinse, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Place pasta back in pot and cover.
      • In a large saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic and onion and saute until soft and translucent. Add squash, zucchini, bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes and carrots. Stirring constantly, saute for about 5 minutes. Add basil, red pepper flakes and jalapenos and bacon, if using, salt and pepper. Saute, stirring constantly for about five minutes.
      • Add cooked pasta and mix well. Add reserved pasta water 1/4 cup at a time if needed to moisten. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Place in pasta bowls immediately and garnish with Parmesan cheese to taste.
      Serves 6 to 8.

      Note: I like to serve jalapenos on the side for those that like "it hot".

      Note: The possible substitutions are endless; you are only limited by your own personal tastes, budget and imagination. Some other veggies I like to use are: broccoli, or cauliflower. These may need to be parboiled or microwaved to cut down on cooking time. Other possible substitutions are: Cabbage, baby artichoke hearts, snow peas, fresh corn, mushrooms of any variety, etc.