I’m not a gardener, (maybe one day I’ll develop a green thumb) but I know plenty of people that are. I keep hearing all about how they’ve got tons of tomatoes, bushels of basil, and more zucchini than they know what to do with. Well, today’s their day here on the blog because I’ve got summer garden pasta. With bacon. Bacon, people. One of those “makes so many things even better” ingredients, am I right?
From the day this went on the menu plan, I was looking forward to it. It’s basically a mixture of lots of my favorite things–squash, tomatoes, corn, pesto and yummy, carby pasta. But then, then, these things get topped with salty bacon and sweet, tangy goat cheese. And wouldn’t you know it–it’s unbelievably easy to throw together. Heaven in a bowl, I tell you.
Summer Garden Pasta with Bacon
adapted from Gourmet, July 2008
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked until crispy, chopped into pieces
1 lb. penne, fusilli, or other short-shape pasta
1 c. corn kernels
1 1/2 lbs. zucchini or summer squash, cut into 1/2-in. thick half moons
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 c. basil pesto
4 oz. goat cheese
salt and black pepper, to taste
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Reserve 3/4 c. pasta water, then drain and return to pot.
2. Turn heat to medium and add corn, zucchini, tomatoes, and 1/2 c. reserved pasta water to pot. Cook, partially covered, until water is nearly evaporated and vegetables are just softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in pesto and cook until warmed. Taste and adjust seasonings.
3. To serve, spoon pasta into a large serving bowl or divide among 6 individual bowls. Garnish with goat cheese and bacon. Serve immediately.
Yields: 6 servings