Recently, my friend Caitlin asked me if I would give her a little cooking lesson, and since there’s nothing that I love more than cooking with friends and watching their eyes widen as ingredients fuse together, I jumped at the opportunity. We had just received our latest CSA box and it was filled with summer squash that I was itching to cook with. I wanted to keep this meal simple so after some searching, I decided on a Martha Stewart recipe that I came across for roasted summer vegetables and basil over pasta.
This was the perfect meal to cook with Caitlin. When she arrived that night, I had all of the food laid out and after showing her a few quick techniques, I handed her the knife and a cutting board and let her take the lead. It was a lovely night, chatting and cooking and I hope that Caitlin learned a few new things, and more importantly, gained a bit more confidence in the kitchen- a place that in my book, no one should fear. I love this dish because all it requires is tossing some veggies in a pan with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasting them for 30 minutes. When they’re done, you mix them in with the pasta along with a little more olive oil and voilà, dinner is served! It is a perfect example of simple ingredients merging into beautiful flavors. I adapted Martha’s recipe by substituting olive oil for butter and shallots for red onions, but other than that, the recipe is as follows…
summer squash (about 2 pounds), halved lengthwise if large, sliced crosswise 1 inch thick
2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes
2 red onions, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2 inch thick (I used shallots)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 box of Quinoa linguine or pasta of your choice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used olive oil)
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 cup firmly packed torn fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Divide squash, tomatoes, onions, and garlic between two large rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat and then spread evenly. Roast (without tossing) until tender and starting to brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add a generous amount of salt. Cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Drain, and return to pot.
Add roasted vegetables, butter, parmesan, and basil to pot; season with salt and pepper, and toss gently with pasta to combine. Reheat over medium-low if necessary before serving.