This pasta skillet looks like the inside of my car.

Brown Butter Garden Vegetable Pasta Skillet I

Not because the inside of my car is filled with noodles and brown butter and ha – vegetables! – but because the inside of my car is a giant mess.

We’re talking huge.

And the thing is, in all of my type A-ness, regardless of how I want things a certain way or how I want things to be neat and clean or how I want things to be perfectly in place, there are two places where that rule is totally null and void: my car and my bedroom.

Brown Butter Garden Vegetable Pasta Skillet I

I can’t even tell you about my dorm room in college. OMG. It makes me want to barf. Not because it was dirty, but because I would literally pile up clothes to the height of my desk chair before forcing myself to clean the mess. Which was like, such a huge pain because then it took FOR-EV-ER, (Sandlot-style.) Yeah yeah yeah… if I just put my things where they belong after I was done using them, I wouldn’t have had that problem now would I? Whatever. Don’t look at me.

Sometimes I would let my bedroom at home get just as bad. Sometimes I couldn’t even see the floor. And the worst part was that a lot of it had to do with trying on 36 outfits before deciding on one. So the carpet was littered with clean, now completely wrinkled clothing. Oh come on. I know you’ve definitely done the same thing. With five minutes left before leaving for your destination, you decide that you need to change outfits – like your life depends on it – and you frantically rip 8000 things out of your closet and try to put them on at once. And there is no time to pick it all up before you leave. And then you get home really late. And then the next day, you go to work, and you come home and you’re just so tiiiiiired and… you know where this is going. Vicious vicious cycle.

Brown Butter Garden Vegetable Pasta Skillet I

I’ve sort of let my current bedroom get to this state once or twice, but it usually has to do with traveling and busy weeks. And then I feel bad because it’s not just MY room (though um, I totally have made it MY room since I’ve used every drawer and square inch of closet in the space, forcing my husband to put his clothes somewhere else) and I go through the whole pain-in-the-butt cleanup process.

Will I ever learn? Stop asking.

Brown Butter Garden Vegetable Pasta Skillet I

But my car?

That’s a whole different ball game. Because in my car it’s usually just me. And only me. My husband’s biggest pet peeve (besides when I vacuum and leave the cord plugged in and unwrapped) is my cluttered car that is filled with… well, my life. You know – purses and yoga mats and hats for workouts and headbands for workouts and snacks in case I get hungry and lipgloss that’s fallen out of my purse and gum wrappers that I forgot to throw away and receipts from the iced coffee that I don’t even like and anything and everything I’ve printed off the computer and never brought into the house and at any given time about 13 water bottles – some empty, some half full.

This… enrages him.

Brown Butter Garden Vegetable Pasta Skillet I

During our first year of marriage, we got in such a big fight about the state of my car (that he never even had to drive) that we didn’t speak for like 36 hours. The we (I really mean he) learned to pick and choose our battles (oh marriage!) and decided to only spend like 16 minutes fighting over the state of my car. And sometimes I will be really nice and make a steak dinner and be like… oh… can you help me clean my car? Which really translates to “I’ll stay up here and clean the kitchen while you clean my car since me being down there with you would be like the equivalent to you standing on top of me in the kitchen while I’m trying to make biscuits.”

And that really translates to me blasting my music as loud as I can in the kitchen so I don’t hear him screaming from the garage “13 water bottles?! Seriously? THIRTEEN WATER BOTTLES? Why can’t you just throw them away? WHYYYY?”

Brown Butter Garden Vegetable Pasta Skillet I

So long story long… this pasta is like the inside of my car: a ton of stuff thrown together to create a mess. Albeit a delicious one.

And guess what? I don’t CARE that there is brown butter or that there is parmesan or that there is provolone because there are freaking vegetables And that’s what matters. Get rid of your summer produce, cover it in brown butter, cover it in cheese, and you have a meal. With vegetables!

This is so simple.

Brown Butter Garden Vegetable Pasta Skillet I


Brown Butter Garden Vegetable Pasta Bake

Yield: serves 4-6

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


2 cups whole wheat pasta, like rigatoni
1 zucchini, chopped
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
1 small red onion, chopped
2 ears of fresh corn, cut off the cob
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
4 ounces freshly grated provolone cheese
fresh parsley for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare water for pasta and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta to cook. Drain when finished.

While pasta is cooking, heat a large oven-safe skillet oven medium-low heat. Add in olive oil, then add in onions, zucchini, corn and tomatoes with salt and pepper, stirring to coat. Cook for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally, while softened.

While pasta and vegetables are cooking, heat a small saucepan oven medium heat. Add in butter and whisk constantly, stirring until bubbly and brown bits appear on the bottom, about 5-6 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Turn off heat under vegetables and add in pasta. Drizzle in brown butter and add in parmesan, stirring well to coat. Top with provolone, the place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, just until cheese is melty. Remove and serve immediately, garnishing with parsley and extra cheese if desired.

Brown Butter Garden Vegetable Pasta Skillet I

Now if cleaning my car was just that simple. Oh wait. I bet it is. Stop it.

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127 Responses to “Brown Butter Garden Vegetable Pasta Skillet.”

  1. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — September 6, 2012 @ 6:57 am

    Gah!! This looks so freaking delicious!! Loooove it!


  2. #
    Ali @ Peaches and Football — September 6, 2012 @ 6:58 am

    I love this type of dish. So much yummy deliciousness that you wouldn’t notice it was all veggies. Yum!


  3. #
    Liz — September 6, 2012 @ 6:58 am

    HAHA that pasta dish would actually be a cool interior to a car :D Tasty, colorful dish.


  4. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — September 6, 2012 @ 7:07 am

    And yes, it’s a beautiful mess :) Love the storytelling and the browned butter!


  5. #
    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat — September 6, 2012 @ 7:11 am

    Incredible photos! My husband cleans my car when he can’t take it any more. I’m okay with that, it’s better than arguing.


  6. #
    Kelly — September 6, 2012 @ 7:13 am

    It looks delicious – fresh, colourful, and yes, messy in the most acceptable way. I couldn’t help but smile to myself as you described your dorm room and car. I seem to have the same water bottle-receipt-lip gloss situation – like life, it just HAPPENS! Ha ha, thanks for sharing.


  7. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — September 6, 2012 @ 7:14 am

    Cheesielious!!! I’m not sure if that’s a word, but your dish looks amazing!!


  8. #
    kim@hungryhealthygirl — September 6, 2012 @ 7:17 am

    If your car looks like that pasta dish; it must be beautiful!! I do the same thing when trying to figure out what to wear, which is why my closet is a total mess right now. But no one has to see it except me!!


  9. #
    Stacy — September 6, 2012 @ 7:18 am

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one that has a bedroom that looks like a teenager’s! My poor husband, after living with me for the past 17 years, has taken on the attitude of “if you can’t fight ’em, join ’em”. Which doesn’t help the state of our bedroom Thank goodness for doors!


  10. #
    Simply Life — September 6, 2012 @ 7:18 am

    haha, this post is great! I can completely relate! :)


  11. #
    Krissy @ Make it Naked — September 6, 2012 @ 7:19 am

    Brown butter bubbles….those are nice to wake up to.


  12. #
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy — September 6, 2012 @ 7:24 am

    Simple and easy pasta dish – my favourite!


  13. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — September 6, 2012 @ 7:25 am

    I have two places where I can need seem organized either–my dresser (I fold my clothes and they last like that for maybe a day…) and my closet (out of sight, out of mind). Other than that, I am a total Type A organization/clean freak.

    Beautiful pics!


  14. #
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — September 6, 2012 @ 7:26 am

    Mmmm, this looks so good Jessica!


  15. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — September 6, 2012 @ 7:27 am

    Can you please come over and cook for me? I’ll even clean:-)


  16. #
    Madeleine @ Teenie Baker — September 6, 2012 @ 7:30 am

    Mmmm…looks delicious!


  17. #
    Katie — September 6, 2012 @ 7:35 am

    OMG we sound like twins. Although I will admit that I am now a crazy person on trying to keep our bedroom clean, but growing up my room was a disaster zone. I think it was clean and I could see the floor maybe 5 times in my 18 years of living at my parents house! My car was always a disaster, too. That was until my husband and I decided to sell my car and rough it with one car for 2 years. I had to take care of his car, so it has sort of rubbed off on me. Anyway… I digress this pasta looks amazing!


  18. #
    Rachel Cooks — September 6, 2012 @ 7:39 am

    Looks soooo amazing and I could eat it this way and throw some chicken on for hubs.


  19. #
    DessertForTwo — September 6, 2012 @ 7:49 am

    Yes! What a delicious mess!

    I think your car would make me cringe. But, I like you so much that I would grab a handful of water bottles ever ytime I exited the car to help ;)


  20. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — September 6, 2012 @ 8:22 am

    Are you sure you didn’t live down the hall from me when I was in dorms in university? There was one room that I swear I never saw the floor of… ;) Had to laugh at your car situation because that’s how it was with my old one, which I didn’t buy myself (my mum did). My newer one however, I did buy myself and it’s amazing how much more I care about it! As for bedroom sharing, I have NO idea what I’m going to do when I have to share a closet with another person. I already have the master bedroom in the house I live in, and have a hard time fitting just my own things in the closet!!


  21. #
    Kim in MD — September 6, 2012 @ 8:23 am

    This post made me laugh this morning! I’m a total neat freak, so if you ever need help cleaning out your car I’d be happy to help! :-)

    Oh, and the pasta looks delicious! Great job sneaking those vegetables in! ;-)


  22. #
    Holiday Baker Man — September 6, 2012 @ 8:37 am

    Was struggling with dinner tonight. Thank you!


  23. #
    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — September 6, 2012 @ 8:44 am

    Looks amazing, Jess!


  24. #
    Meg @ Peaches and Cake — September 6, 2012 @ 8:46 am

    Our husbands would get along.


  25. #
    katie @KatieDid — September 6, 2012 @ 8:52 am

    Browned butter, obviously enough said right there. I’m very very neat except we all have to have a vice or two. Mine is most definitely a corner in my bedroom out of my line of vision where I throw and stuff everything I don’t want to deal with currently. We’re human.


  26. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — September 6, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    You and Nate are the same person when it comes to bedroom and car cleanliness! Although if his mess was covered in brown butter and cheese I think I would be ok with it.


  27. #
    Lindsay — September 6, 2012 @ 9:16 am

    You. Are. HILARIOUS! I started visiting your blog for the recipes and now along this the amazing food I get to start my day with a laugh. Thanks for giving us a little insight to your life which I know a lot of us can relate to even if we don’t want to admit it. I for one am totally with you on the bedroom and car thing! :)


  28. #
    Shannon (A Fork In Each Hand) — September 6, 2012 @ 9:18 am

    This is so right up my alley. Now I’m really hungry!


  29. #
    Rachel — September 6, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    This looks delicious! Very few things are better than pasta and cheese!!


  30. #
    JulieD — September 6, 2012 @ 9:50 am

    Love this!! It’s simple & beautiful. No comment on my car…


  31. #
    Diane, A Broad — September 6, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    First of all: freaking yum, dude. Vegetables totally cancel out butter.

    Secondly: I had a friend in LA who would throw empty water bottles in his back seat so much that eventually they would reach the ceiling. True story.


  32. #
    Canette — September 6, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    I have already made this and it was so delicious that i couldn’t resist the following portions. !!!


  33. #
    Ashley — September 6, 2012 @ 10:31 am

    I want this for breakfast.


  34. #
    PCM — September 6, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    I just happened to stumble across your blog this morning and wow, i am in LOVE! Between the amazing recipes that are calling my name, to the adorable photos of your pup, I look forward to reading more about you!


  35. #
    Stephanie — September 6, 2012 @ 10:43 am

    haha What a comparison! Dirty car to pasta that has everything in it!


  36. #
    Iris — September 6, 2012 @ 10:46 am

    Ooo a pasta dish with plenty of veggies! I can get down with that.


  37. #
    Barbara | Creative Culinary — September 6, 2012 @ 10:51 am

    I use garden veggies a lot with pasta…makes for such a great, quick meal. With brown butter…sure, I can do that!


  38. #
    Emily aka The Three Bite Rule — September 6, 2012 @ 11:00 am

    this looks amazing. I’m totally drooling.


  39. #
    Allegra @ Its On With Zwaan — September 6, 2012 @ 11:05 am

    Just bought a cast iron skillet for the first time and this is going to be one of the first things created in it!


  40. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — September 6, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

    This looks freakin’ AWESOME. And I just can’t get over how great your site looks now – loves!


  41. #
    Adrienne @ Midwestern Belle — September 6, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

    My car is so awful I don’t even want to bring it into Waterway to have it professionally cleaned/vacuumed out. (Yes I know…paying someone to do it = double laziness.)


  42. #
    Annie @ Annie's Noms — September 6, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

    The way you describe this makes me laugh. It’s just like my boyfriend an I only the other way round. Whenever I get in his car I have to move bits of paper, receipts you name it! Aside from that, this dish looks delicious and is a great way of using up vegetables :)


  43. #
    Mary @ Bake Break! — September 6, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

    Ha! You sound very much like me in your messy car/bedroom situation. When my car was totaled in December I had to clean it out and therefore find a new place to keep all of my extra junk! What a pain! It’s incredible what hangs around…


  44. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — September 6, 2012 @ 12:50 pm


    A) FORRREEEVVUUUUHHHH just killed me. Because I totally love Sandlot.

    B) I TOTALLY HAVE OVER 13 WATER BOTTLES IN MY CAR TOO AND I don’t even care anymore. And a broken umbrella. Like, why.

    C) And this is like a wet dream for me.


  45. #
    Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen — September 6, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

    I think we’re the same person. Last week I found an apple in my car, a McDonald’s french fry, and approximately 8 vitamin waters. There was also a baseball bat, one flip flop (where’s the other one?), and like 5 tubberware.
    My car is my weird messy place.
    Anyway love the brown butter. Using up zucchini has been crazy this summer. I feel like someone put some genetically modified growth product in my garden or something because they are the size of my leg.


  46. #
    Connie — September 6, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

    This pasta dish looks wonderful for an easy weeknight meal. And I love the new look of your blog, so sweet!


  47. #
    Michelle — September 6, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

    Now if cleaning your car tasted as good as this skillet…


  48. #
    Anne W. — September 6, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

    This looks so good! I’m basically on a How Sweet It Is meal plan binge this week and I’m thinking this binge is going to continue into next week! I did your maple bourbon pork chops last night and when the husband says “this is good” that means “this is great!”… Tonight is your easy beer mac and cheese to go with leftover beer can chicken and then tomorrow is your brown butter parmesan chicken linguine… Oh and I made your funfetti cupcakes on Monday… See totally binging on your blog! I love and hate you for this!


  49. #
    Courtney — September 6, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

    Sandlot-style….LOVE it! You make me laugh every single time I read one of your posts, and I thank you for that.


  50. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — September 6, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

    I LOVE skillet meals! Looks delicious…


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