We get a box of fresh vegetables every week from a great farm in Philomath, OR. This means we sometimes have to find new and interesting things to do with an abundance of great, fresh food. Of course this isn’t something which makes us suffer too much. Quite the opposite. This week we had a couple beautiful zucchinis and a few stalks of fresh Basil from our own herb garden. And, as timing would have it, in came an email from Epicurious with a great recipe from Bon Appetit.
There’s been a few minor tweaks, but it really is simple and amazingly tasty.
For 2-4 people you will need – 1/2 lb rigatoni (or other large noodle pasta), 2 medium zucchinis (cut lengthwise in quarters and then sliced), 1 medium yellow summer squash (also sliced lengthwise into quarters and sliced), 1/3 cup olive oil, 4 garlic cloves (crushed and roughly sliced), 2/3 teaspoon paprika, 1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper dial up the pepper if you like a kick), 1/4 cup of fresh basil (roughly chopped), salt and about 1/4-1/3 cup of parmesan (finely grated).
Start a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
In a large skillet heat the oil and add the garlic. Toss well over medium high heat until fragrant and just beginning to brown around the edges – about 2-3 mins. Turn down the heat slightly and add the chopped squash and season well with salt. Toss well to coat and allow to cook until squash is turning soft – about 10-12 mins – gently stirring often.
Meanwhile – add the pasta to the boiling water and cook about 1 or 2 mins less than the package suggests – probably about 11-12 mins.
Once the squash is softening, add the paprika and cayenne pepper and toss well.
Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain but reserve 1-2 cups of the pasta liquid.
Over a medium-low flame, add the pasta into the skillet with the squash. Toss well and add about 1/2 cup reserved water, about half of the parmesan and, again, combine well – allowing the parmesan to thicken the “sauce” and the pasta to cook a bit more in the skillet. Add a little bit more water and a little bit more parmesan until the sauce is a thickness and tastiness of your liking.
Then add the fresh basil and toss well.
Serve in a large bowl with crusty bread and (more) freshly grated parmesan.