While eating lunch I got to thinking about how summer is such a time of abundance. There’s an abundance of sunshine, and hopefully time to be lazy, read books, and go swimming. And nothing says “summer abundance” to me quite like zucchini. Oh and basil! And corn-on-the-cob, tomatoes and ice cream.
But back to the zucchini.
When I was growing up, we always had a big huge garden with two long rows of zucchini. Every spring Grandma would firmly say to Grandpa “Now Carl, this year don’t plant so many zucchini.” He would just smile at her. And wink at me when she wasn’t looking.
Then he’d prepare the soil with the old rusty red tractor just like he always did. And go down to the feed store and buy two rows worth of zucchini plants.
Come summer, we’d have zucchini coming out of our ears. Grandma would have to get creative to use them all. She would grate them and bake them into chocolate cake (it made it extra moist!), or pickle them, or slice them thin, batter them and fry them, and she even make a mock apple pie. If you didn’t know it was zucchini you’d swear it really was apple!
But she never made this simple little pasta dish I discovered in Vegetarian Times magazine, so I’m going to share it with her. And I thought I’d share it with you — along with my modifications — in case you have an abundance of zucchini too!
Summer Abundance Zucchini and Basil Pasta
1 package of whole wheat penne pasta
Lots of chopped basil (I used a cup but the recipe only called for a half cup)
4 cups (or more!) of zuccini
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Some kind of cheese (I used Parmesan, the recipe said ricotta, or I think even a soft cheese would work. You need enough to lightly coat the pasta. You could use a little olive oil, too.)
- Cut up the zucchini to match the shape of your pasta.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. In the last minute of cooking time, add the zuccini to the pot so that it lightly cooks.
- Drain pasta and return to the pot, then stir in the basil and the cheese.
- Add the salt and pepper.
That’s it! So yummy and so simple, and it makes great leftovers for lunches, too.
What says “summer abundance” to you? I’d love to hear!
Have a great weekend,