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Cook With Confidence: Summer Veggie Pasta

For me, choosing a recipe to cook is the most difficult step because there are so many details to consider…What am I in the mood for? Do I want chicken or fish? Potatoes or pasta? Soup or salad? What ingredients do I have? Do I need to go grocery shopping? How much time do I have? Am I eating healthy or splurging?

As you can see, I can be an indecisive cook. But, for this week’s #CookWithConfidence post, I choose to prepare Summer Veggie Pasta from Cooking Light, and I was more than satisfied with my decision. When clicking through recipes, the photo of the Summer Veggie Pasta immediately caught my eye. The jumble of linguine and colorful veggies appeared to be the perfect summer pasta dish.

Next, I peeked at the recipe time (just 30 minutes) and ingredients, and I was sold. The recipe called for fifteen ingredients: uncooked whole-grain linguine, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, red onion, basil leaves, radishes, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, olive oil, white wine vinegar, sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic cloves, and panko. So, first I collected the ingredients and began to cook the linguine as the box directed.

While waiting for the water to reach a boil, I began preparing the vegetables. Using a vegetable peeler, I shaved the zucchini and squash into thin, wispy ribbons. This was the first time I shaved vegetables into ribbons, but it was easier than I expected.

Now, back to the pasta. I poured the pasta into the boiling water, brought the water back to a boil, and then, let the pasta cook for just 6 more minutes. I was sure to stir the pasta occasionally to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Once the pasta finished cooking, I drained the noodles and set them aside.

To finish the veggie mixture, I chopped the tomatoes and red onion and added them to the bowl of ribbons along with the olive oil, white wine vinegar, sugar, salt, black pepper, and garlic cloves. Using tongs, I gently tossed the mixture and then let it sit for 15 minutes.

While hungrily watching the clock, I sliced the radishes and measured out the proper amounts of panko and Parmesan cheese. Once the 15 minutes was up, I added the pasta to the vegetables and topped the dish with panko, basil, radishes, and cheese. As you can see, my final dish was not quite as colorful as the recipe photo, but luckily that did not affect the taste!

The pasta dish was everything I’d hoped for: flavorful, fresh, and light! Though I was hesitant to add the radishes, they brought a fresh zest to the dish that I wasn't expecting. Topping the dish with panko, basil, radishes, and cheese was the perfect final touch. Because this recipe requires little cooking, it’s great for a summer weeknight meal. And, if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, you can enjoy them for lunch the following day!

We want to hear about your cooking adventures, so be sure to share a photo with us on Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #CookWithConfidence. Happy Cooking!