and so august begins. as the sultry sun’s playing hide-and-seek with the clouds today, i am eager and enthused to share with you this lovely recipe, similarly savory with bits of sweet sunshine. i give you pasta con peaches.
to fully understand the birth of this pasta, it is important to know a few things:
1. last year about this time, with a booty of frozen gooseberries in the freezer, i attempted (and succeeded!) in making some gooseberry wine, later learning it was actually hooch. (apparently, using bread yeast makes alcohol hooch. wine yeast makes it wine.) the hooch, i would call a smashing success. pink and puckery and really a charm to drink. this year, the experimentation is growing. the first batch? peach wine! which also meant a bounty of peaches ripe for the cooking.
2. i have been very happily a part of the villages soccer team in the detroit futbol league this season. as such, there began a tradition of carbo-loading before games. the pasta lover that i am, i did not complain about this at all– i, surprise surprise, encouraged this tradition with gusto. it was a great place to try out the basil, kale, and garlic scape pestos that tasted so light, summery, and GREEN earlier this season. i am happy to report that the villages triumphed victorious at the copa detroit this past saturday– after an exhausting four games and a losing season (2-11!), we had quite the cinderella story. (i have to believe our win directly corresponds with the carbo-loading). a tradition that should not be lost, for sure.
now, all that back story really was just to explain that there were a lot of peaches and a need for pasta, and a new cult favorite was born. such a lovely discovery! the subtle sweetness of the peaches comes at the end of the bite, balancing the heat of the red pepper flakes. the flavors are layered, beautiful shadows of sweet and spice. my favorite bites are those with the hunks of peaches. the golden-orange explosion of peach is so exciting, unexpected, warm, happy! a surprise and a delight. the reviews thus far have been consistent and equally surprised, excited, and satisfied. pasta con peaches, it’s a summer treat that cannot be beat.
pasta con peaches
extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, halved and sliced
2-5 cloves of garlic, depending on taste
a combination of fresh veggies, ideally 2-3 summer squash, a handful of new potatoes, a bunch of green beans–this is really flexible
1 jar of pasta sauce, your choice (ideally i would use homemade, but don’t have any, and used canned. still delicious)
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes– a good pinch
4 ripe peaches, diced
parmesan cheese, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, optional
pasta (i use spaghetti noodles)
1. saute the onions in oil over medium heat until begin to soften, 2 minutes. add garlic and potatoes and other vegetables you want to add. the potatoes take the longest, so i dice them thin and get them in quick to speed up the process. if the pan’s looking dry and the veggies are looking crisp, add a bit of liquid (water, stock, beer, wine, whatever you’d like) and let them steam.
2. after the veggies are cooking for about 5-8 minutes (perhaps steaming if you needed to add liquid), add pasta sauce, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and let cook until all the vegetables are cooked through. i just keep tasting the veggies to monitor crunch factor.
3. meanwhile, prepare pasta, using salted water and following directions on bag or box.
4. add the peaches and all the juice that comes out of them, skin and all, and continue to cook for another 2 minutes or so.
5. combine noodles and sauce. i like more sauce than noodles– you can use a ratio you like! plate with shaved parmesan cheese, hunks of fresh mozzarella, and ribbons of basil as you like. enjoy!