Late Summer Veggie Saute - Sweet & Savory Kitchens

Aunt Suzy says . . . 

I’ve been making these sautés for a while now, using veggies that are in abundance this time of year.  The source of my idea was this sweet corn sauté from a couple of years ago. I thought it would be delicious with other vegetables and maybe some pasta. And maybe a little Parmesan . . . what’s not to like when Parmesan cheese is part of the equation?!! This is ultra flexible and the “3-Ways” reference is that it can be served as a side with a couple of variations and as a vegetarian main dish with small pasta shapes added. I made it last night in about 45 minutes, including chopping and cooking the pasta. Pretty fast, I would say!

Late Summer Veggie Saute - Sweet & Savory Kitchens

Margaux says…

When Aunt Suzy mentioned a new easy pasta dish for dinner, I was all for it! I love the sweet corn saute dish that she mentioned, and make it pretty often in the summer. I loved the idea of adding pasta to it, along with the kale, zucchini and tomatoes. And it’s beautiful when you add the tomatoes! We were all oohing and aaahing about it while I was taking photos.  I will definitely be making this again before summer is over. It’s delicious with the pasta and Parmesan!

Late Summer Veggie Saute with Pasta - Sweet & Savory Kitchens

 

Late Summer Veggie Saute

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium yellow onion, cut in thick slices then in quarter rounds

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried

2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried

4-5 small garlic cloves, or to taste

2-3 ears of sweet corn, husked and kernels cut from the cobs

1 bunch Lacinato (Tuscan) kale, tough stems removed and cut in 1/4-inch slices cross-wise

1 zucchini, small dice (optional)

10-12 large cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

1/2 pound pasta, small shapes of your choice, regular or whole wheat, cooked al dente, 1/4 cup pasta water reserved

1/4 cup basil leaves, cut in chiffonade

Grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Prepare all veggies before starting cooking because there is no time to chop once the cooking is started!  Place a large saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once it is shimmering, add the butter. When butter is melted and bubbling, add the onions and turn up heat slightly. Cook the onions for about 5 minutes till they become translucent. Add the thyme, oregano and garlic and stir/cook for about a minute. Add the sweet corn and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the kale ( and optional zucchini if using) and cook stirring for about 3 minutes. Put a lid on the pan and cook another 2-3 minutes. You can serve this as a side dish – way #1.

However, if you want to keep going, add the tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring then place a lid on the pan and cook another minute or two. This is way #2 – an awesome side dish as well! Maybe add the fresh basil or serve as is.  To make the main dish with pasta, add the pasta to the veggies with a little of the reserved water. Stir to combine completely and add the fresh basil. Once served pass the Parmesan!

 

 

 

Aunt Suzy says . . .

When I lived in Boston in the 80’s, this dish was served in many restaurants in the North End Italian neighborhood.  This simple, yet flavorful pasta dish  was new to me.  I immediately loved it and ordered it often.  One of my favorite restaurants, L’Osteria, made the best rendition so I asked them for the recipe.  It’s so simple!  Olive oil, garlic, red peppers, chicken, pasta and cheese.  I see that L’Osteria is still open and still serves this dish, Chicken Maccheroni & Broccoli.  So if you are in Boston, I recommend that you check them out.  But if  not, you can make this dish easily and authentically following my recipe. Excellent with a fruity Pinot Grigio or a light Italian Red, like a Valpolicella.

Serves 4 as a main dish and 6 as a first course (quantities easily adjusted up or down)

1-2 chicken breasts, depending on whether you want more or less chicken

4-6 cups broccoli florets

3/4-1 pound medium pasta shapes, (like the rigatoni shown or ziti, rotini, radiatore, cavatappi, etc.)

1/4 cup EV Olive Oil

2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste

1/2-3/4 cup shredded cheese, Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano

Season the chicken with salt and pepper only or also with your choice of herbs/spices.  I use Italian Street Fair, a blend of smoked peppers, onion, garlic, fennel and spices.  Cook the seasoned chicken breasts until just done, 4-6 minutes a side, depending on thickness.   I used my stovetop panini press, but a grill pan, broiler or gas or charcoal grill would work.   Set aside to cool slightly.  When cooled, slice the chicken in roughly 1/4 x 1 1/2-inch pieces.

Steam the broccoli to al dente and set aside.  Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions.  Before draining, save 1/2 cup pasta water.  Drain the pasta, rinse and set aside.

Heat a large dutch oven over a medium burner.  Add the olive oil and heat till shimmering.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes.  Saute for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn’t burn.

Add the chicken and broccoli and stir to thoroughly blend and heat.

Add the pasta and pasta water.  Stir to blend.  Place the lid on the pot and heat for about 5 minutes until all is piping hot.  You can serve as is and pass the cheese or for a creamier dish, you can add the cheese and stir to blend till melted.  I recommend stirring in the cheese only if you don’t anticipate left-overs.  If you know you’ll have left-overs, it’s easier to heat up the dish later without the added cheese.

COOKS NOTES:  Many recipes suggest you cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and cook along with the garlic and hot pepper and then add the cooked broccoli.  I think this makes for rubbery chicken pieces, but if you’re in a hurry this could be an option.  I used 1 1/2 chicken breasts this time and thought this was a perfect amount.  I had 4 cups of broccoli and wished it would have been 5 cups.  This dish definitely stands up to whole wheat pasta.  While I think Parmigiano is more authentic, I prefer this dish with the earthier and creamier sheep’s milk Romano.  Don’t be daunted by all the steps.   This is a great weeknight recipe that comes together really fast.  This is also served in restaurants with shrimp or vegetarian/no meat or seafood.