Summertime Cooking: Mustard Butter Pasta with Fresh Garden Vegetables

With summer’s toasty temps, I don’t want to be standing over a hot stove any longer than necessary. That’s why I love simple meals that can be made with a minimum of fuss and can be easily reheated, or even eaten cold.

When I went to P. Allen Smith’s Garden2Blog event, one of the sponsors, Le Creuset, gave us each the opportunity to test a Le Creuset cooking dish of our own. While the classic colored pieces were calling me, I ended up choosing the minimalist, apartment-friendly Multi-Pot, which is a stainless steel cooking pot with a perfectly-fitted pasta insert and vegetable steamer insert. Not only can I cook a multi-course meal in one pot, but once I’m done the whole thing stacks efficiently to take up very little space. It’s even dishwasher-friendly.

This recipe is one I adapted from a dear client, who gave it to me when I was planning what to cook for some vegetarian friends. It’s so good that meat-eaters won’t mind that it’s vegetarian, and it takes so little time to make and re-heat that I can spend time enjoying my guests instead of cooking. Best of all, it takes advantage of summer’s bounty with fresh parsley, sungold cherry tomatoes, and broccoli.

Mustard butter pasta with broccoli and sungold tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. butter, softened (I prefer the rich flavor of butter from pastured cows)
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 3/4 lb. bowtie or other pasta (if using a gluten-free pasta, I’ve found corn pasta holds up particularly well)
  • a handful of sungold cherry tomatoes, or other fresh-from-the-garden veggie of choice
  • salt and pepper

Start by blending the softened butter with the Dijon, then add the minced parsley.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt and the Tbsp. of oil. Cook pasta, and either add the broccoli to the pasta in the last two minutes of cooking, or (my preference) lightly steam the broccoli separately once the pasta is done.

Once pasta and broccoli are cooked, transfer them to a large skillet and add the butter mixture, heating over medium and tossing pasta until it’s coated evenly in the butter-Dijon-parsley mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add sungold tomatoes just before serving, so they have time to warm but don’t cook in.

The best thing about this recipe is how easy it is to customize. You can use any non-soggy vegetables from the garden – peppers, corn, chopped celery leaves, fresh peas, etc. Add chicken for a protein-rich feast, or scramble leftovers with an egg for a warm breakfast. I love a few pinenuts or a grate of parmesan on top.

Photo credit: aminaelahi via Flickr

2 responses to “Summertime Cooking: Mustard Butter Pasta with Fresh Garden Vegetables”