Summer Pasta

Now, this is a quick recipe I adapted from one in Jacques Pépin’s cooking  pictureseries, Fast Food My Way.  My dear neighbor very kindly gave me some lovely Portobello mushrooms the other day, and, having recently watched Jacques make a meal out of a few mushrooms and some garden vegetables, I thought, why not? So here it is, a lovely warm pasta salad put together quickly and for a few pennies.  He calls it Summertime Pasta, and so it is: perfect for this hot an muggy weather. Now, for 1 lb of pasta, chop about 2 lbs of fresh, ripe tomatoes, 2 zucchini, about 2 cups of mushrooms (any kind) and place in a large, microwavable bowl.  Add about 2/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and mix together well.  Set aside.  Chop or shred about 2 cups of fresh basil and set aside.  Have ready about 1 or 1 ½  cup of grated Parmigiano or a mix of Parmigiano, Asiago, Fontina or other similar cheese (remember, this is supposed to be easy, whatever you have around that goes well together). Right before the pasta is done, place bowl with veggies in microwave on high for two minutes.  Cook pasta al dente (a small pasta is best, I like fischiotti), drain and throw into the bowl with the vegetable mix; add basil and cheese, and mix well.  Ready! And it can be eaten at room temperature too.  Also, if you like you can make it with rice instead of pasta (I love that). So, go on into the garden and start gathering tomatoes…Thank you, Jacques Pépin!