This quick pasta dish includes the flavors of the Mediterranean. I like to chop up some salty kalamata olives to scatter over the top and maybe some fresh basil, too. Serve it as a main dish or a side for grilled pork or lamb chops.
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Janet K. Keeler, Times food and travel editor
Tips from Janet's kitchen
• One medium ear of corn equals about 3/4 cup of kernels. This is a handy thing to know as you enjoy the last of summer bounty of fresh corn.
• Commercial mushrooms are grown in a sterile environment, so they don't need to be washed under water. Plus, the water will soak in and dilute their flavor. Gently brush off any dirt with a brush or a paper towel. If you must put them under water, do it quickly and dry them immediately.
• Don't let fresh herbs go to waste. Leafy ones (parsley, basil, chives, tarragon, dill) are especially good snipped into green salads. They add refreshing flavor.
• Salt is one of the primary ingredients in lemon pepper seasoning, which seems a bit weird since a lot of people reach for it as a salt substitute. To make the equivalent of 1 teaspoon yourself, mix 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper and a pinch of lemon zest.
• Fish sauce is an amber-colored liquid made from tiny fish fermented in brine. Fish sauce is a fundamental ingredient in Thai and Vietnamese food, just as soy sauce is in Japanese and Chinese dishes. It's not the best-smelling ingredient in the world, but it gives Southeast Asian dishes a certain taste that is difficult to get from anything else. Buy the smallest bottle you can find and try it in a recipe.
• To seed cucumbers, cut them in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds out gently with the tip of a small spoon. A serrated grapefruit spoon works really well. If you want the cuke peeled, do that before you seed it.
• Consider slicing rather than mincing garlic to prevent it from burning or browning too much when you saute it. If the garlic is going to be cooked further in a sauce or soup, the bigger pieces will work just fine.