Having fresh vegetables in the garden makes it very easy to prepare meals at our house. We were laughing tonight about how we have been eating meals with cherry tomatoes all week. When they are coming out of the garden faster than we can consume them, you get to eat cherry tomatoes at every meal.
The other night we pulled out the Cook's Illustrated "Summer Entertaining" Magazine. It had some great recipes for garden vegetables. We made this recipe of Pasta and Squash with Tomatoes, Basil and Pine Nuts and served it with a Grilled Lemon Chicken which was amazing. (I will be blogging about that recipe next...). The grilled zucchini along with the tomatoes and basil had a deliciously refreshing taste especially when paired with the tanginess of the lemon chicken. We loved the basil and pine nuts, giving it a bit of that "pesto" flavor. Of all the pasta salad recipes we have highlighted this summer, this has definitely been one of our favorites. Probably something we should probably add to our cook-out checklist.
4 medium zucchini and/or summer squash (2 pounds) halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces
3 tablespoons of kosher salt
1 pound of farfalle pasta
5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about one tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 pint of grape (or cherry) tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted in a small dry skillet over medium low heat until lightly browned and fragrant, about 4 minutes
Grated Parmesan cheese
1. Toss zucchini and/or summer squash with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt in a medium bowl, transfer to a colander and set the colander over bowl and let stand for 30 minutes. Spread squash evenly over a double layer of paper towels, pat dry with an additional towel and wipe off residual salt.
2. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil, covered in a stockpot. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of kosher salt and pasta, stir to separate and cook to al dente. Drain and return to pot.
3. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 12 inch non-stick skillet over high heat until just smoking, swirl to coat skillet. Add half of squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and slightly charred 5 to 7 minutes; transfer to baking sheet or large plate. Repeat with remaining squash.
4. Return empty skillet to medium high heat; add 1 tablespoon of oil to coat skillet. Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add squash mixture, remaining two tablespoons of oil, tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar and pine nuts to pasta in pot, toss to combine. Adjust seasonings (salt and pepper), if necessary and serve, passing cheese separately.