For me, pasta dishes are an automatic go-to food in cold-weather months because of their comfort factor, but during the summer season, pasta recipes can be transformed into the perfect dish for a fresh, bright meal that’s both simple and tasty. After all, the greatest culinary gift of summer is the abundant amount of fresh summer produce. And by adding seasonable vegetables and fresh ingredients, pasta takes on a whole new meaning the warmer months. This summer pasta recipe is delicious, while being easy to make, and healthy to boot.
Pusateri’s Fine Foods
I’ve teamed up with Pusateri’s to put together this fresh summer pasta recipe that filled with seasonal vegetables and ingredients that keep things light, tasty, and healthy. If you’re not familiar with Pusateri’s, they’re a small, Italian neighbourhood shop that’s turned into a fine-food emporium with 6 locations around the city of Toronto that specializes fresh groceries, gourmet imported goods, and speciality products with a focus on local items. I had a chance to tour their Yorkville location with their Head of Marketing, Leya, who shared the story of the family owned business and showed me the high standard and care that goes into selecting all the food and products that are brought into the store. They have some of the best produce and fresh items that are purchased from the market every morning and delivered to their stores, along with a great selection of ready-made foods that are healthy and delicious. I was really impressed by their wide, yet unique selection of items and how they really catered to needs and wants of the communities they served.
Cremini Mushroom and Eggplant Parmesan Penne Recipe
About the Ingredients:
For this recipe I wanted to utilize fresh ingredients to celebrate the summer season that included cremini mushrooms, baby eggplant, baby spinach, and cherry tomatoes. I find that mushrooms and eggplant make an ideal substitute for meat, providing a somewhat “meaty” base, while keeping the meal light. I also utilized fresh penne pasta from Pusateri’s, which I find makes all the difference when making a great pasta dish. If you haven’t tried fresh pasta you simply must! It’s has a more delicate texture, and that works especially well for light summer dishes. This recipe is super easy and simple to make, yet comes together wonderfully for a light delicious meal that packed with vegetables and perfect to have as a summer meal.
Ingredients for Summer Pasta Recipe:
- 1 package for fresh penne pasta
- 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese
- 1 package of cremini mushrooms
- 2 oz baby spinach
- 1 container of cherry tomatoes
- 1 baby Italian eggplant
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 shallot
1. Prepare the Ingredients
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
- Wash and dry all produce
- Halve lengthwise and thinly slice the baby Italian eggplant into half-moons
- Cut the cremini mushrooms into quarters
- Dice shallot into small pieces
2. Cook the Vegetables
- In a large pan, add 1 tbsp cooking oil over medium high heat.
- When the oil starts to shimmer, add the baby Italian eggplant and cook 5 min, stirring occasionally, until softened. Season with salt.
- Remove eggplant from pan.
- Add half the butter and swirl to melt. Add the cherry tomatoes and cremini mushrooms. Cook for 5 min, tossing occasionally. Season with salt.
- Remove the vegetables from pan.
3. Cook the fresh penne pasta
- Meanwhile, when the water comes to a boil, add the fresh penne pasta and cook for 4 to 5 min until soft but still firm to the bite.
- Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Strain and drizzle the pasta with olive oil
4. Make the light white wine sauce
- In the pan used for the vegetables, add 1 tbs of olive oil and heat. Once hot add shallots and cook for 4-6 minutes.
- Add the white wine over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and cook 1 min to reduce.
- Add the 1/4 cup fo pasta water and continue cooking to reduce slightly.
5. Finish the pasta
- Add the cooked pasta, cooked vegetables, and baby spinach to the sauce. Toss to combine and slightly wilt the spinach. Mix in 3/4 of the parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
6. Serve and Enjoy!
- Plate the pasta and sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese on top. Enjoy!