Though summer thrives though September or October here in the southwest, the end of summer vacation is coming up fast for those of us in school. The past couple of years, I’ve been astounded by how fast the summer passes. When I was a child, summer vacation lasted forever. Or so it seemed. By the end of it, I wanted to be back in school just for the change of pace. This year in particular, though, I feel like I’m scrambling to do everything I set out to do at the beginning of the summer…before it’s too late. Once the semester begins, free time for crafts and reading for pleasure will be long forgotten. It’s just something most college students learn to accept.
On that uplifting note, I present to you this super simple pasta recipe, perfect for those Sunday nights when you need a short break from cramming information into your brain as well as the sustenance to continue to be able to do so. :D
A couple of weeks ago, a family friend started handing out extra veggies from his garden, and I ended up with at least four bags of cucumbers, zucchini, and summer squash. Needless to say, I’ve been constantly on the lookout for interesting new ways to eat them. For the cucumbers, I made raita a couple of weeks ago; I’ve been making tons of cucumber and banana smoothies (more on that later); they’re also awesome sliced with this spread or this one on toast. My new favorite way to eat the zucchini, though, is using this recipe from Super Natural Every Day. It’s more of a guideline than an actual set of instructions; more than likely, you can just wing it, and it’ll come out delicious.
This pasta, as well as everything else that I’ve tried from this cookbook, practically leaps into your mouth from the bowl. The ingredients are simple and the procedure is easy, but each of the flavors plays perfectly off of the others like a violin quartet inside your mouth. Just when you think the spice from the crushed red pepper might overwhelm you, the parmesan steps in with a hint of creaminess to comfort you. Perfectly timed.
Simple Summer Pasta
Adapted from Super Natural Every Day
2 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
½-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz dried pasta, I used sweet potato linguini from Whole Foods
½ cup parmesan, grated
1 tablespoon butter, optional
Fresh-ground black pepper
Toss the grated squash with the salt and set over the sink or a deep bowl to let the vegetables’ water drain away. Let sit for 10 minutes, then squeeze away as much excess water as you can.
Cook your pasta according to the package directions for al dente. Reserve some of the cooking water.
Put the olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper in a cold pan, then turn on the heat to medium and let cook for 1-2 minutes, just until the garlic begins to brown. Add the drained zucchini and let cook for 2-5 minutes, until tender.
Add the pasta to the pan, as well as some of the reserved cooking water if the mixture seems dry. Evenly distribute the zucchini and pasta, and add the butter, if using, and parmesan. Toss with salt and pepper, to taste.
Now, get back to that list of textbooks.