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Friday, August 3, 2007

Off to Utard!

But before we go, a perfect-for-midsummer recipe I made the other night and neglected to post about. Adriana's lament reminded me of it, so I thought I'd post it here for her and your benefit. It's from Cook's Illustrated, of course, July-August 2003. The recipe calls for serving it hot, but I think it works at least as well at room temperature as a salad (and I've taken it to potlucks thus). Anyway, it's a good one for using three things I usually manage to grow in the garden: zucchini, cherry tomatoes and basil.
Pasta and Squash with Tomatoes, Basil and Pine Nuts

4 medium zucchini and/or summer squash (2 lbs), halved lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (I prefer 1/4-3/8 here)
Kosher salt
1 lb farfalle
5 T extra-virgin olive oil (you can cut this back a little in the sauté part)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 T)
1/2 t red pepper flakes (I always leave this out because of kids)
1 pint grape tomatoes, each tomato halved (my favorite cherry tomato variety is Gold Nugget)
1/2 C packed chopped fresh basil leaves
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 C lightly-toasted pine nuts
Parmesan cheese for serving

1. Toss zucchini/squash with 1 T kosher salt in medium bowl; transfer to large colander, set colander over bowl, and let stand 30 minutes (this helps makes the squash less watery, which was one of Adriana's specific complaints). Spread squash evenly over double layer of paper towels; pat dry with additional paper towels and wipe off residual salt.

2. Cook pasta until it's al dente, drain, and return to pot.

3. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 T oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke; swirl to coat pan. 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, adding garlic (and red pepper flakes, if using) at end of cooking, then stirring in first half of squash to heat through (30 seconds or so). Add squash, 2 T oil, tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, and pine nuts to pasta in stockpot; toss to combine. Adjust seasonings and serve with Parmesan on the side.

They also have a variation with olives and feta with lemon juice and mint, which I suppose would be nice if I liked olives. Substitute red wine vinegar for the balsamic and 1/4 C chopped fresh mint for the basil, and add a finely-chopped sautéed red onion, 1 t lemon zest and 1 T lemon juice, 1/2 C pitted and quartered kalamata olives, and 4 oz crumbled feta.


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Blogger Hevansrich said...

wow that dish sounds so delish. yummy! I just arrived in Utah as well for a few weeks. I absolutely love coming here. It is so beautiful!
Have a wonderful vacation!

August 5, 2007 at 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where in Utah are you? We're in Provo at the moment, though we'll be in SLC later this week. Would be lovely to see you--drop me an e-mail.

August 6, 2007 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Hevansrich said...

hope you are having a great time - the weather has been good!! We're off to Colorado for a long weekend, then next week we're spending time in the Alpine/Provo area - and a b-day party on Wednesday. Then home to CA possibly Thurs, or Friday...or Monday...some summer soon we should organize a Manhattanites reunion here in the Beehive state since so many have connections here and end up here this time of year...

August 7, 2007 at 10:08 PM  

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