This current heat wave we are experiencing has completely zapped my creative energies. I want to cook and be creative, but it is so hot that it is almost impossible to be in the kitchen for very long. So, we have been cooking up a lot of simple, easy-peasy meals that don’t require much time in the kitchen, and very little effort. This Italian sausage sub, served with a cool pasta primavera seemed like the perfect solution for this super hot day. We grilled some spicy Italian sausage and the bun, heated up some marinara sauce and topped it with mozzarella cheese. I also made a pasta primavera, that I served as a cold pasta salad along side the sub. We dined on our cool and refreshing deck after the sun went down, while enjoying a cold glass of viognier. This was a very good, tasty way to help us beat the heat. I know this is not a fancy meal, but sometimes, simple is best.
All I need to make pasta primavera. I love vegetables, and cook with them a lot. When I make vegetable medleys, I tend to put in a wide variety of vegetables; usually it is a little bit of this and a little bit of that and before I know it, I have made a ton. There is no right or wrong way to make this dish. Use whatever vegetables you like. I love lots of color and textures, so I use everything, plus there are hardly any vegetables I do not like. There is no real recipe to this one. This is up to you, your imagination, and your likes and dislikes.
No matter what vegetables you decide to use, cook your heartier veggies first. Here, I am sauteing zucchini, red onions, asparagus, mushrooms and peas in olive oil. Cook them for about 3-5 minutes, or until they are cooked, yet still have a bit of a crunch to them. Then add your softer vegetables.
Before cooking my heartier vegetables, I marinated grape tomatoes with garlic, about 3 TBSP of lemon juice, about 1/2 cup olive oil, fresh basil, lemon verbena, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Once my other vegetables had cooked, I added this to my sauteed veggies and cooked it all down for about 2-3 more minutes. Adjust the seasoning to how you like them if needed.
After all my vegetables were cooked, I added cooked pasta and tossed everything together. You can serve this dish cold, hot or at room temperature, depending on your mood and what your are serving it with. I used spaghetti here, but you can use any kind of larger pasta you want. I think next time, to keep it even lighter, I will use angel hair pasta instead of spaghetti.
Stay cool and manga!