I cooked this up one evening when I had friends coming over, nothing to make for dinner, and a lot of partial servings of leftovers. I made a repeat performance last Monday, and it was just as good. Served with garlic bread or bread with olive oil for dipping, and a salad, it's a nice, simple meal. It may even prove healthy (shh, don't tell!).
A handful of green beans
One yellow squash
A bunch of asparagus
One small can of chopped tomatoes (I used the ones with garlic, oregano, and basil in)
Pasta of your choice (I like the corkscrews - they're fun!)
Mozzarella or cheddar cheese
Leftover veggies of any sort that you think would go well in this
First, blanch the green beans. Skip this step if they're leftover from another meal and already cooked.
While the green beans are blanching, chop a slice or three of onion and a few cloves of garlic...
...then cut the asparagus tips into bite-sized pieces...
...likewise the squash and zucchini...
...and the now blanched green beans.
Set the pasta water to boil and cook according to directions. At the same time, heat butter, olive oil or a combination of both in a sauce pan and saute the onions and garlic.
When the onions are slightly translucent, add the asparagus...
...the squash and zucchini...
...the green beans...
...and finally, the tomatoes. This is also where you'd add chicken or sausage (cooked), eggplant, or anything else you think would go nicely in that tomatoey sauna of goodness. Salt and pepper if you like - I put a little of both, but it will do fine without.
Give it a good stir...
...and let it simmer until the squash is cooked to your desired doneness.
While it's simmering, drain the pasta and butter or drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking. Pasta loves to stick to itself. I think it's what holds the Universe together. I bet right now scientists are looking at the particles in the hadron collider and saying "Huh - so carbon molecules are held together with farfalle, but oxygen is stuck to itself by radiatore."
Wait, weren't we cooking something? Oh, right.
So drain the pasta, de-stick it (the reason I don't rinse is twofold - one, I don't want it to cool off, and rinsing can soggify pasta...and soggy pasta is one of life's great tragedies...right after when ice cream falls off the cone and someone else getting the last Oreo), and deposit it in a large bowl.
Doesn't that look like a bowl full of fun??
Now, while the sauce is still simmering, chop some mozzarella into chunks...or grate the cheddar...or, if you're me and you flaked on the cheese, chop up some sticks of string cheese and hope for the best.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and dot with the cheese.
Toss the lot, gently, until it's well mixed.
Looks good, doesn't it? I'm glad I had leftovers - typing this up made me hungry...and this stuff keeps and microwaves beautifully.
Bonus photo - the salad I served with it:
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.