Every summer it seems like I wind up with an abundance of zucchini or yellow squash and I’m constantly looking for new ways to use it in recipes. Normally my recipes are very well thought out and planned, I usually make adaptations along the way, but this one was complete experimentation and I wouldn’t change a thing! I’m just glad I kept track of my ingredients and cook times along the way so that I can share it with you!
This veggie loaded pasta dish is a great way to incorporate fresh produce, most of which you can grow in your own backyard. Butter sauteed zucchini and summer squash are nice and tender, but still hold good texture so there’s a bit of crunch. Then there are chunks of heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs like thyme, basil, and parsley that add robust flavor to every bite. The end result is a hearty, colorful, and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed as a side dish or all by itself. This also can easily be adapted as a year round dish simply by switching the squash out for another seasonal variety!
(makes 6-8 servings)
12oz uncooked tricolor rotini pasta
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 to 1 1/2 lbs zucchini, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 to 1 1/2lbs yellow squash (crookneck variety), chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 large tomatoes, stems removed and cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 Tbs finely chopped fresh basil
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan bring 6-8 cups of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, approximately 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat, drain pasta in a large colander, and then transfer it back to the saucepan. Add 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter. Stir and toss pasta to coat in the melting butter. Cover with a lid to keep warm, but do not keep on the stove burner with the heat on.
While your pasta is cooking, heat remaining 1/4 cup of butter in a large skillet over low to medium heat. Strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs and add to skillet. This will make for a really fragrant and tasty herb butter. Cook for 1 minute. Add zucchini and squash and saute for 6-7 minutes or until summer squash is starting to get tender. If you cut yours thinner than 1 inch, cook for less time.
Add tomatoes and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
Toss in the fresh herbs, season with salt and pepper, and cook another 2 minutes or until zucchini is tender, but still has some bite to it.
Add the entire contents of the skillet to the saucepan with pasta and toss to mix. Season with more salt and pepper to your liking and serve right away.