Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer Vegetable Pasta (a.k.a. what the heck do I do with all this squash??)

The thought of it used to strike fear in my heart. 

Fear and disgust. 
I hated squash. 
Strange, I know. That the eater of all things vegetable refused to even try this stuff until I was in high school. 

The Hungry Hubby still turns his nose up at it. (Unless my Mom makes it for him, then he'll gobble it up. Whatever.)
Well, this time of year anyone with a garden can tell you they end up with more d*mn squash than you can shake a stick at.

That's how we ended up with all this squash. 
It was a gift. 

At Church on Sunday someone had left a large pile of vegetables on a table with a sign that said "Homegrown veggies, please help yourself." The sign might have well have said "We're over run with this yellow squash. It's like Kudzu. We don't even know what happened to the swingset. It's everywhere."
If you had SEEN the pile of squash on that table, you would totally understand the desperation behind that neat handwriting.

It was like this. {via}

I should have taken a picture.
Instead, I took 3 GIANT yellow squash home, knowing I would be the only eating them.

So then I had this squash. 
I just stared at it for a week. 

This morning I took the Hungry Baby to the Pepper Place Farmer's Market and got some MORE veggies. 


So I made Summer Vegetable Pasta. 

pretty sexy for a camera phone!

It's awesome! (AND because odds are The Hungry Hubby won't try it, due to the squash and it being remotely healthy for you I get it all to myself!) 

For Summer Vegetable Pasta, you will need: 

  • 1 lb. Penne (I used gluten free brown rice pasta)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • 3-4 Yellow Summer Squashes, mercilessly cut up into little bits
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil (you could use about 1 1/2 cups fresh leaves, cut up, but I didn't have any on hand)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1. Put the little squash bits in a colander, toss them with about a bit of sea salt and put the colander over a big bowl to drain for about 30 minutes or so. (This will allow some of the water to leech out of the squash, so it won't be so...well...squashy.)

2. Put a big pot of well-salted water on a boil.

3. After some water has drained out of the squash, pat it with a paper towel, just to get it a bit drier. 

4. Put the squash in a large pan with a few tablespoons of Olive Oil, over medium-high heat. Toss the squash around. 

5. While the squash is a-squashin', put the pasta in. (Don't let it cook past "al dente", or it will be gross.)

6. Once the squash has been cooked up a bit (it will appear slightly softer), put in the basil, pepper flakes, garlic and balsamic. Coat evenly.

7. Once pasta is ready, drain it (don't rinse it) and return to the big pot.

8. Add the tomatoes to the squash and heat through. 

9. Mix the vegetables into the pasta, making sure the olive oil coats the pasta well. 

10. Serve warm (with some grated parm and white wine if you're trying to look fancy!) 

Feel better about yourself for figuring out what to use the squash for without coating it completely with Velveeta.

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