These pasta dinners are packed with fresh veggies and lean protein sources. With bright colors and bold flavors, they're perfect for a quick family dinner or a backyard barbecue.
July 20, 2017
1 of 15Photo: Erin Kunkel
Pasta with Prosciutto, Cherry Tomatoes, and Asiago
This quick pasta toss is all about the play of textures: crispy bits of prosciutto, snappy squash, and blistered cherry tomatoes. Sauté the zucchini for just a minute—you want it to lose its raw bite but not brown. It will be perfectly crispy-tender when the pasta is done.
Jumbo stuffed shells are your weeknight answer to homemade lasagna: Instead of endless layers, spoon a single vegetable mixture into each shell, and bake 12 minutes or until the cheese melts. Shells are also easy and fun to serve—you’ll know exactly how many equal a serving. This vegetarian version turns a French summer stew into a hearty filling, a great way to double up on vegetables in a pasta dish. Use leftover chickpeas to bulk up any summer vegetable or grain salad.
Sweet crabmeat, sautéed fennel, and lots of herbs create a fresh and easy dish. Because this pasta toss is light and delicately flavored, it's perfect for warmer weather. Feel free to "back pocket" your way around this dish, subbing shrimp or a flaky white fish for the crab and playing with other herbs like tarragon, chives, and chervil.
The glorious finish to this dish is Burrata—a very soft buffalo milk cheese with a supercreamy center. The name in Italian means "buttered," hinting at the sweet, rich flavor. If you can't find it, substitute ricotta cheese.
Slab bacon lets you get a thicker dice than presliced bacon that will hold its own in the pasta; if it's hard for you to find, just use thick-cut sliced bacon. Peppery watercress wilts well yet maintains a little crunch. It also adds a nice savory note, balancing the sweetness of the tomatoes and the saltiness of the bacon. Arugula would also work.
Wonton wrappers are the secret to these seemingly from-scratch pasta pillows. Skip the fancy folds; just make sure to seal the ravioli well. The ravioli fare better with a delicate sauce—here, just a drizzle of olive oil and lemon.
Garlic, cooked until lightly brown but not burnt, adds a gorgeous dimension to the flavor. Very thinly sliced tomatoes are key. Use a sharp, thin serrated knife; it only takes 5 minutes. If tomatoes taste too acidic, add 1/8 teaspoon sugar.
Your family will love this light comfort meal—and you'll love that it's a great use for all that summer squash and zucchini. This cheesy veggie lasagna so good that they won't miss the traditional dish.
This Caprese-inspired pasta toss is the ultimate summer main for a busy weeknight, outdoor picnic, or lunch on the go. Use yellow and red tomatoes for a stunning presentation and wonderful flavor variety.