It’s mid-September and the fresh, local produce still keeps rolling in. I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of the farmers market this time of year when there are so many beautiful vegetables, flowers, and apples…oh the crisp, tart apples of early fall, you’re my most treasured of them all. The only downside is discovering that unlike the stuff from the grocery, this produce seems to have an expiration clock that counts in seconds rather than days. Fortunately, a frantic meal trying to avoid spoilage turned out this delicious, spicy pasta. I used the veggies that I had on hand, but pretty much any type will do, so don’t feel limited by the ingredients I’ve listed here. Same goes with the pasta, though I would stick to something similar in size and texture. Frozen veggies would be great too if that’s what you have or you don’t have time to chop. And by all means, make it as mild or as spicy as you’d like. I’ve given you the starting point, you take it the finish line by whatever route appeals to you!
1 pound rotini
2 tablespoons vegetable or light olive oil
3 scallions, divided by the white and green parts, then chopped
1 large orange bell pepper, chopped
2 zucchinis, quartered and chopped
2 summer squashes, quartered and chopped
1 teaspoon dried chipotle powder
1 lime, zested and then juiced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 26-28 ounce box/can of rustic cut tomatoes (diced in sauce works too)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Bring a large pot a water to a boil, add the rotini pasta, and cook according to package instructions until the pasta is al dente, which should be around 7-10 minutes.
- While the water boils and/or pasta cooks, heat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat, add the oil, then the white parts of the scallions and orange bell pepper. Sprinkle with a pinch of the kosher salt and let cook – stirring occasionally – for about 5 minutes until the bell pepper has begun to soften.
- Add in the chopped zucchini, squash, half the chipotle powder, lime zest, and half the cilantro; let cook another 5 minutes. Add more chipotle powder to make it as spicy as you would like.
- Next, stir in the tomatoes and the remaining salt; continue cooking over medium-low heat until the pasta is ready.
- Once the pasta is done, drain it, and add to the veggies, along with the chopped scallion greens, the other half of the cilantro, and the fresh lime juice. Combine and let warm through for a few minutes before you serve and nosh!
**For an extra layer of yum, sprinkle taco-seasoned shredded cheese on each serving and let it melt a moment before digging in**