Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What's cookin'? - Summer pasta!

As you can probably tell by reading my posts -I love pasta!

During the summer, however, we eat less of it because it's too hot, and even too heavy, when you add sauce!

I stumbled on this recipe because I was searching for different ways to use zucchini - the ever-abundant vegetable in our garden! (it's ridiculous when I think back to when we used to plant four zucchini plants! Nowadays, one will suffice!)

Last night, I made zucchini bites -seasoned with fresh herbs and Parmesan, tossed in olive oil and baked.

Today, I made zucchini bread - the food of choice for my boys if I am going to force zucchini on them.

For dinner, I tried this light pasta dish, and it was yummy! IT'S A KEEPER! If I could find a way to incorporate tomatoes, I could rename it "Tastes of Summer"!

Pasta with ricotta, zucchini and corn
• about 2 cups zucchini,  diced
• about 1 3/4 cups corn
• 12 ounces pasta
• one cup ricotta cheese
• 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 
• 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
• 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
• Salt and pepper, to taste

We had bought corn on the cob when it was a really good price a week or so ago. I spent an hour blanching the corn and freezing it, so I could enjoy that fresh corn taste anytime. It was well worth the effort!

Along with my many bags of frozen corn we have the prolific zucchini crop, as I mentioned!

So this was the perfect recipe - and easy too!

I used zucchini slices that we grilled (we have one of those little "George Foreman grills" so I was able to do it inside!). If you grill some zucchini and have leftovers, this is a great way to use it up! Otherwise, I would probably use sautéed zucchini in this dish. You don't really want raw... just cook it a bit.

One recommendation: don't skimp on the fresh herbs! The flavors really liven  up this dish!

• Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
• Add your pasta (I used ziti) and cook it three minutes less than what is recommended on the package.
• While pasta is cooking, dice your zucchini.
• When the timer goes off, add your corn to the pasta and cook the final three minutes.
• Before draining, remove a little over a cup of the pasta water and set aside - you will use this for the "sauce".
• While pasta/corn is draining, prepare sauce by whisking together ricotta, Parmesan, and about 1 cup pasta water. (you should still have extra if you need it)
• Put drained pasta into a large bowl, add fresh basil and dill. Add cheese sauce, tossing to coat pasta. IT IS NOT A VERY THICK SAUCE!
•Add salt/pepper, more Parmesan and more basil to serve, if desired.

*You can always make more "sauce" if you need to with the reserved pasta water!

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