I made this easy dinner the other night…
The recipe was from Sarah Copeland’s gorgeous new cookbook Every Day is Saturday. For her ‘Summer Macaroni,’ she throws everything into the pot at the same time (including onions, herbs and oil). It’s a nod to Martha Stewart’s one-pan pasta, which blew up Pinterest boards a few years ago, and it reminded me of the real magic of the dish, which is how endlessly riffable it is. That and how well it would work for nights when everyone is going in different directions and eating at different times. Sarah’s recipe calls for any combination of summer vegetables — zucchini, kale, tomatoes, broccoli rabe, asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms — but it appears to work with just about anything. Especially after you shower it with a generous pile of Parm or hefty dollop of ricotta. I mean, really, how could that not be great?
I chose canned artichokes and fresh chard for my main vegetables. If I were making it again, I’d add the chard a little later — after about 8 minutes instead of the called for 10 — because when chard cooks for that long it loses its bright green color. I actually tossed in another handful of chopped chard to the pasta once it was served, and found that the warm pasta was enough to wilt the leaves and preserve the color. I also added butter at that point because: butter.
Recipe: Summer Macaroni (Not Just for Summer)
From Every Day is Saturday, by Sarah Copeland
Note: Depending on what pasta you use, you might want to start checking for doneness after 7 or 8 minutes.
12 oz. chunky short pasta (such as conchiglie, or large shells)
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh lemon basil or regular basil
2 to 4 cups chopped vegetables (such as zucchini, kale, tomatoes, broccoli rabe, asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Grated Parmesan or pecorino romano or fresh ricotta cheese
Thinly sliced radish (optional)
Combine the pasta, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, basil and the chopped vegetables in a large pot with a tight fitting lid. Add about 4 1/2 cups water (enough to just cover the pasta) and the oil. Cover and bring to a roaring boil. Stir, return the lid and lower the heat to a simmer. Keep the pot covered and cook for 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and evaporated.
Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle generously with cheese and toss to coat. Serve warm, garnished with radish (if using).