Farfalle with Vegetables and Lavender
Adapted from Mark Bittman
½ pound of pasta, such as farfalle, orechiette, or gemelli
2 or 3 cloves garlic, sliced thin or crushed
2 medium zucchini or summer squash (about 1 pound), trimmed
2 medium carrots, peeled and trimmed
1 bell pepper (use whatever color you prefer), cored
2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (enough to completely coat the bottom of your sauté pan)
1 teaspoon fresh or dried lavender flowers, plus additional for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (i.e. just barely tender, which is usually one minute less than the recommended cooking time.)
- Meanwhile, slice the vegetables thin, using a food processor, mandolin, or knife. Pour the olive oil into a large unheated skillet and add the garlic. Turn the heat to medium and gently cook the garlic until it starts to turn golden, stirring occasionally. (Cooking the garlic this way will both infuse the oil with the garlic flavor and minimize the possibility of it burning and becoming bitter.) When the garlic turns golden, add the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the lavender, crushing the flowers in your fingertips to release their fragrance. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies barely soften, just 5 minutes or so.
- Hopefully the pasta will be nearly done just as the vegetables are nearly done. (If you start cooking the garlic right after you add the pasta to the boiling water, the timing should be right.) Drain the pasta, reserving some cooking water. Add pasta to vegetables and continue to cook, adding water as necessary to keep mixture moist.
- Taste, and add more lavender to taste; it should be distinctive but not too strong. When pasta and vegetables are tender but not mushy, adjust seasoning for salt and pepper, garnish with a couple of lavender flowers if you have them, and serve. A nice crisp sauvignon blanc would be really nice with this dish.