Every summer I see recipes crop up whose sole purpose is to perpetrate the old zucchini joke. “Got more zucchini than you know what to do with? Here’s one way to use it up!” I hate that old gag. If people felt burdened by having abundant zucchini every year they’d stop growing it. I may hate that joke because for some reason my zucchini plants never do go rogue on me and I’d love it if they did. I’d love to have “too much” summer squash. If you have that much of it you can shred it and freeze it in two cup portions for making zucchini bread all winter.
So I’m not offering up this recipe as a way to “use up” your annoying abundance. I’m offering this one up for sheer love of summer squash as a delicacy I only eat fresh for a few months of the year and look forward to more than Christmas. If you love summer squash as much as I do then you need to make this dish, or make up your own variation of it. It’s simple, it’s aromatic, and nothing in the dish hides behind anything else.
Summer Squash and Tomato Pasta Recipe
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, quartered and then sliced thinly
- 2 zucchinis or 4 crooknecks or 6 patty pans, diced on the thin side
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 5 large tomatoes, cored and diced chunky
- 1/2 bunch basil, julienned
- 1 tsp salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 lb angel hair pasta
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan on med/high heat and then add the onion. Stir the onions frequently to prevent burning. When they begin to brown a little add the squash. Saute until the squash is tender and lightly browned.
- Set a big pot of salted water on to boil.
- Add the garlic to the onions and squash and saute for about two minutes then add the tomatoes.
- Boil your pasta now and it should be ready just about the same time as your sauce.
- Stir the sauce frequently to keep the tomatoes from sticking. they should be breaking down nicely but you should still have some chunks left when you’re done (depending on the type of tomatoes used). Right before you’re ready to drain the pasta add the basil, salt, and pepper to the sauce and cook and stir for about two minutes and then turn the heat off. Add the pasta and toss it well.
- Eat. I added about a bucket of Parmesan to mine because I love Parmesan and I look for any excuse to eat it. It’s a hard habit to break but I did eat a couple of bites of this pasta without any and it was excellent. Next time I might just eat a bare bowlful.
If I’d had any Kalamata olives I would have added some. I have noted produce size because with homegrown especially there is such a wide range of sizes and that can affect the amount of sauce you have for the pasta. For this one I actually used 1/2 of an enormous yellow zucchini but I am very good at estimating equivalents and two medium sized ones would be the same. You can mess with recipes like this a lot and still make it fantastic. So don’t be afraid to play. You could use twice the onion and really caramelize them before adding anything else and that would have made a sweeter sauce.
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