Monday, February 20, 2006

Pasta & Squash with Tomatoes, Basil, and Pine Nuts

This is the other dish I made for my mom. It will be good for her to take in lunches because it warms up really well. I think it's yummiest in the days after it is made because all of the flavors mush together and get really tasty. This recipe is from Cook's Illustrated magazine.

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
Kosher Salt
1 lb farfalle pasta (bow-tie)
5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 pint grape tomatoes, each tomato halved
1/2 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted in small dry skillet over medium-low heat until lightly browned and fragrant (about 4 minutes)
Parmesan cheese for serving

1. Toss zucchini and/or summer squash with 1 Tbsp kosher salt in medium bowl; transfer to large colander, set colander over bowl, and let stand 30 minutes. Spread squash evenly over double layer of paper towels; pat dry with additional paper towels and wipe off residual salt.

2. Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil, covered, in stockpot. Add 2 Tbsp kosher salt (or 1 Tbsp table salt) and pasta, stir to separate, and cook until al dente. Drain and return to stockpot.

3. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over 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. Add 1 Tbsp oil to skillet, swirl to coat pan, and repeat with remaining squash. Return empty skillet to medium-high heat; add 1 Tbsp oil and swirl to coat pan. Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Return squash to skillet and stir well to combine and heat through, about 30 seconds. Add squash mixture, remaining 2 Tbsp oil, tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, and pine nuts to pasta in stockpot; toss to combine. Adjust seasonings, if necessary, and serve, passing Parmesan separately.

Picture added April 9, 2009:

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