October 2, 2009

Vegetable Linguine

Yesterday morning October greeted us with a shocking number on the thermometer... 27.

Luckily, some things in the garden had been covered with tarps in a last minute late night hunch the night before.

Nothing makes me appreciate those fresh tomatoes more than the thought of not being able to have them anymore. And that was especially true last night. As much as I love autumn, I know that it brings with it a day when there are no more tomatoes in the garden.

So for supper we celebrated those few surviving tomatoes by feasting on one of my all time favorites, Vegetable Linguine.

There is no recipe, only a method. But I will gladly share it with you. Let your own taste guide your ingredients and portions...


Prepare your vegetables and cut into bite sized pieces. Use any vegetables you like.

Some vegetables, like broccoli, carrots, asparagus or summer/winter squash may need to be sauteed or steamed until tender first.

Caramelize some thinly sliced onions.

Peel, seed, and slice several fresh tomatoes. Roma or Amish Paste tomatoes work especially well for this.

Roast a red pepper, peel skin as much as possible, and slice.

Toss all prepared vegetables (chopped and already cooked until tender) in a large bowl.

Chop a few fresh greens and herbs and put them in a separate bowl. Spinach, chard, arugula, parsley, and basil are some good ones.

Cook linguine in generously salted water. This dish is best when the linguine is cooked "al dente".

Finely chop some garlic. Put chopped garlic in a very large saucepan with a generous amount of olive oil and a bit of butter. Use enough olive oil to toss with your linguine at the finish. Cook garlic long enough to soften it, being careful not to brown it.

Add the entire contents of your bowl of prepared vegetables to the garlic and oil. Toss them briefly in the oil. I like to add a little squeeze of lemon juice at this point.

Drain linguine. Save a cupful of the cooking water, in case you need a bit more liquid at the end. Also, a bit of cooking water adds some creaminess to the final dish.

Add the linguine to your large saucepan of vegetables. Also add the chopped greens. Toss all that goodness together. Add salt if needed. I find that when I cook the linguine in generously salted water I don't have to add salt at this point.

I like to plate this with freshly shredded hard cheese, crumbled bacon, and fresh ground pepper on top.

There are a lot of nice additions and variations to this... add sauteed mushrooms, a sprinkle of dried red pepper flakes, a few finely chopped hot peppers sauteed with the garlic, go heavy on the chopped greens... change it up to your own taste and what you have on hand. Use what you like and you can't go wrong with this dish!

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