Summer Garden Pasta

I prefer to make things from scratch, but don’t always have the time.   One of my favorite grocery store staples is jarred Alfredo Sauce.  In this recipe, I mix it into a skillet of sautéed vegetables, then toss it together with fettuccini for a quick, filling, and flavorful meal.  The combination of vegetables can vary—I’ve used asparagus, peas, mushrooms, red bell peppers, artichoke hearts, shallots, leeks, baby spinach—don’t feel like you have to use the same combination every time.  Also, while I usually serve this as a meatless meal, it is also delicious when you add chicken, shrimp, sausage, thinly sliced ribbons of smoked ham, or a combination of these meats.  Finally, this recipe works well with any kind of pasta, don’t feel limited to fettuccini.

 

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, halved through the root end and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1 small yellow squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp dried oregano

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

1 (15 oz) jar Alfredo sauce

1/2 cup loosely packed basil, julienned

1 lb fettuccini 

 

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the fettuccini and cook according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Swirl the oil around the pan to coat the surface.  Add the onion and sauté it until softened, about 5 minutes. Mix the garlic into the onion, stirring constantly for 1 minute.  

3. Add the zucchini and summer squash to the onion-garlic mixture.  Season with the crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, 1 tsp kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.  Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5-7 minutes.

4. Add the grape tomatoes to the vegetable mixture.  Cook, stirring often, until softened, 2-3 minutes.

5. Pour the Alfredo sauce over the vegetable mixture and stir to combine.  Allow the sauce to heat through until bubbling.  Turn off the heat and sprinkle the basil over the sauce.  Stir to combine.  Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

6. Finally, using tongs or a pasta spoon, add the fettuccini to the skillet.   Toss the pasta to evenly distribute the sauce and vegetables.  

*If you want to add chicken to this recipe, thinly slice 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast crosswise.  Season the chicken with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, then sauté it in 1 Tbsp olive oil (in the same pan you’re going to prepare the sauce) until cooked through, about 6 minutes.  Remove it from the pan and proceed with the recipe.  Add the cooked chicken to the vegetable mixture when you add the Alfredo sauce.

Serves 4

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