Autumn Vegetable Pasta
Why oh why oh why is pasta the perfect autumn comfort food? Why do I crave pasta above every other carb (even bread — gasp)?
I can eat plain pasta right out of the bowl — absolutely plain, no butter, no salt, no nuthin’. Is that weird?
The kid in me wants to eat pasta out of the bowl all the time — two-fisted, left-right-left-right — but my adult sensibilities know that responsible people use utensils and temper carb overload with lots and lots of veggies.
It’s all good: carbs, fall veggies. And together — a la autumn vegetable pasta — equals one amazing meal.
This autumn vegetable pasta came about thanks to an abundance of fresh herbs and veggies on a cool, sunny October Saturday: cabbage, leeks, broccolini, red bell peppers (I know folks think of peppers as being a summer veggie, but mine tend not to ripen to sweet, sweet red perfection until September and beyond — it’s mid-October and I still have bells, poblanos and serranos ripening in the garden). Meaty cremini mushrooms round out the roll call, promising a hearty meal.
Instead of topping it off with a creamy, über-cheesy sauce, I borrowed a few techniques from risotto and fideua to boost flavor and creaminess naturally. The pasta is toasted — dried — in oil before being sizzled with white wine and doused in a bath of flavor-boosted veggie broth (thanks to leek trimmings, mushroom stems, herbs and big pinch of homegrown saffron). The starch exuded by the pasta creates a thick, creamy, and savory sauce that drapes delicately over the autumn vegetables.
Fit for a leisurely weeknight dinner or for warm, filling comfort after a busy Saturday in late fall’s brisk weather, I hope you’ll enjoy this pasta with autumn vegetables.