Thursday, September 4, 2008

Summer Veggie Wind Down/Summer Squash and Goat Cheese Pasta

Co-workers are still bringing in the occasional surplus tomato to offer out to anyone who wants it, but it's not like a couple of weeks ago when they were bringing in baskets of them. So, I am guessing the harvest is tapering. I didn't get to make it to a farmer's market this week either where I thought I might load up one more time on summer veggies. Therefore, I was forced to buy summer squash from Whole Foods tonight to get my fix.
Why didn't I grow a basil plant? It seems so easy and I could do it on my back deck, and pick some whenever I needed it, instead of buying a big batch and inevitably throw half of it away because it wilted before I could use it all. The littlest bunch of it was $2.99 at Whole Paycheck, and it didn't even look all that great. I decided to forego buying it, and instead, either try to hit a farmer's market this weekend, or maybe I'll get lucky and someone will bring some into work tomorrow.
The reason I need basil is to try this recipe my MOTHER passed onto me. I have to emphasize this because it is a big deal. Cooking is not my mother's favorite thing to do, and I believe she would eat in a restaurant every night of the week if she could. She has a repertoire of relatively simple dishes she rotates through, and she gets by, but when people reminisce about their moms having cookies coming out of the oven when they came home from school, or some special dish they made for Christmas Eve, I can't relate. She does make excellent mashed potatoes and a mean potato salad though. For her to actually seek out, make, and pass on a new recipe, and one which required her to purchase goat cheese, is something that piqued my attention. I plan to try it this weekend, but in the meantime, I thought it worthy of posting. (By the way, I don't think she would mind me revealing these things about her, especially since she is the only one who reads my blog.)

Pasta with Summer Squash, Basil and Goat Cheese
4 tblsp olive oil
7 small summer squash, thinly sliced
20ish fresh basil leaves, torn in half
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb rigatoni (I'm thinking penne or ziti might be better. Rigatoni is just so big.)
1/4 cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled

1. In large skillet, over low heat, heat 3 tblsp of the olive oil. Add the squash and cook, stirring often, for 30 minutes or until the squash soaks up the oil and is not all watery. As the squash cooks, use a wooden spoon to mash it against the side of a pan. Stir in half of the basil leaves.
2. Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente. Drain and put in serving bowl. Toss with remaining olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
3. Tip the squash mixture into the pasta and toss gently. Top with goat cheese and remaining basil leaves.
Serves 4

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