The dreamiest shrimp pasta anchors this summery menu


By David Tanis, The New York Times

There’s an eye-popping display at the farmers’ market right now. If you feel like cooking, meander the overflowing vegetable stalls, grab anything and take it home for dinner. It’s bound to be at peak ripeness, juicy and sweet, no matter what it is. Peppers, tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, fresh herbs, stone fruit, berries, melons: We are gleefully overwhelmed with choice.

So here’s a menu that seizes the moment, without requiring much in the way of effort: a zesty salad of marinated sweet peppers, a main-course pasta that requires only a pot of boiling water and a skillet, and an icy, refreshing dessert. All are utterly simple and customizable, to be embellished according to whim or happenstance find.

Right now, sweet peppers of every color are ready, and far better than the bland year-round supermarket varieties. Look for Corno di Toro, a meaty Italian variety, in red or gold, or any local sweet peppers. Freshly picked, they have real flavor, and when thinly sliced and dressed with an assertive vinaigrette, they’re an ideal first course or antipasto component. Here, they’re built into a salad with capers, olives and anchovy that’s delicious as is, but could be upgraded to include halved cherry tomatoes, quality canned tuna or hard-cooked eggs.


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