This should really just be called “what the hell am I going to do with these random leftover veggies” pasta, but since heirloom tomatoes made an appearance, the seasonal moniker seemed like the better option.

This last month of summer is also the fifth season in traditional Chinese medicine, bridging the gap between the growth of spring, the playful, active energy of summer, and the cooler, inward energies of fall and winter. This is when things slow down and people get in their last vacation days, savoring the last few bits of warmth while also looking around and ahead. I won’t go into the ways in which this season is said to rule the stomach, spleen, and pancreas, but  it does have to do with the notion that this is the time of year where we transition from grilling foods to sautéing them and other gentler means of preparation.

I don’t know about anyone else, but this time of year, I find that my tastebuds get a bit confused as to whether they want hot-weather or cold-weather foods. This pasta dish bridged the gap quite nicely. img 0198 - Late-Summer Pasta

The recipe isn’t really a recipe but more a brief description of that time I threw a bunch of stuff into a pot of strained whole wheat linguine and stirred over low heat until it was hot enough.

Ingredients:

  • Pasta of choice (I used whole wheat linguine)
  • Leafy greens (I used spinach)
  • Any veggies you like (mine were roasted–eggplant, broccoli, and pepper)
  • Mini or whole heirloom tomatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Garlic (fresh or powdered) and red pepper flakes to taste
  • Oregano (optional, but what the hell)
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 c fat-free ricotta cheese (part skim or whole milk would work too)

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to directions. When straining, reserve a little bit of the cooking liquid.
  2. Return strained pasta to pot. Add greens, vegetables, peas, and spices. Cook over low heat until greens are wilted and vegetables are warm. Add lemon. Stir well.
  3. Add ricotta. Cook another couple minutes until the desired temperature is reached.
  4. Plate and serve. Enjoy.

Do you have any favorite late summer dishes? 

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