As summer winds down, the garden is flexing it’s might to provide that last wave of perfectly ripened, fresh wares that are so simply and deliciously woven into meals.  Last night, I created a quick, super simple pasta that is healthy and delicious using three main ingredients fresh from Il Giardino!
Pasta alla Giardino
Fresh Baby Spinach – about 12 ounces
10-12 Shittake Mushrooms, sliced
15-20 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Vidalia Onion, sliced
Large handful of basil, chiffonade
Sale e Pepe
Extra Virgin Olio
In a large skillet, saute the onions, garlic and mushrooms in about 1/4 cup olive oil until the onions soften and the mushrooms take on a “toasted” aroma. This imparts a hearty earthiness to this healthful pasta. 
As the pasta is cooking, add the sliced cherry tomatoes and the basil and soften.  Season with salt and pepper.  About 5 minutes before the pasta is finished, add the spinach and toss through.  Add about 1/2 cup pasta cooking water to the skillet to wilt the spinach and help form the sauce.
~ Here’s the skillet just after adding the Spinach. Note the consistency of the Tomatoes ~

Once the pasta is done – I used Mezzi Rigatoni for this – drain to the skillet, toss to combine and remove to a serving platter.  Sprinkle with Pecorino and pass more at the table.  Delicious, healthy and simple!

~ The Serving Bowl ~

And finally…

~ The Chef’s Plate ~


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