Summer Squash Delight with 30 Leaves of Basil
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This is so good that my husband raved about it and even had the leftovers for lunch the next day, and he is not big on vegetable-based leftovers. Inspired by all the produce from our farmers, especially the plethora of summer squashes available from now through the early fall, I decided to create a quick, fun, and tasty recipe to help us all use it up! This can be prepared as a vegan dish, although my husband grilled some sausage that I sliced and stirred in at the end. I also opted to add a healthy sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese. But in all honesty, it was fabulous with just the veggies so totally qualifies as a delicious vegan dish, as well.
Disclaimer: I forgot to add the vinegar that I was going to use to substitute for the lemon juice often used in similar recipes. Call it optional. This dish will taste great with or without.
Here is what I used. But take note: you can use any greens, any squash, heck, any veggie or veggies that saute well, and, if you don’t like basil, try another fresh herb or dried herb that you fancy. Just use a lot so you get the full effect from whatever herb you choose. Also, the amounts listed are just what I used – feel free to vary.
- 4-6 ounces whole-wheat rigatoni* or pasta of choice
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and more as needed
- 1/8 cup minced garlic scape or 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup or so chopped onion
- 2-3 oz trimmed oyster mushrooms or your choice
- 1/2 pound thin-sliced and quartered summer squash
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup water (if needed)
- 3 ounces chopped greens (I used tatsoi and spinach)
- 1 medium tomato, chopped, about a cup
- 30 largish to large leaves of fresh basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- a modest drizzle of lemon juice or vinegar (optional)
- 1/3 pound sausage, cooked/grilled and sliced thin (optional)
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese to garnish (optional)
Get sausages going on the grill or stove or in oven, if using.
Heat and salt water for pasta and have pasta ready to go in the pot.
Heat olive oil in a 12 inch frying pan and sauté garlic scape and onion for a few minutes until getting soft.
Add mushrooms and cook down until some moisture releases.
Add summer squash slices and cook over medium low for 3-5 minutes, then add salt to season and draw out moisture, cook for a few more minutes, and, if need to get more soft, add water to further “steam” the squash if you want it more soft, then cook until water is gone.
Cook pasta as directed or to desired texture.
Add another tablespoon or two of olive oil if needed before adding greens, cook them down, then add tomatoes and basil.
Cook for a few minutes to meld the flavors, then season to taste with salt and pepper, going light on the salt if you will be adding sausage, then if desired, drizzle lemon juice or vinegar to add brightness. NOTE: I forgot to do this and never noticed, but I can imagine it would be a nice addition.
Serve as is over the pasta as a vegetable dish, or add slices of cooked sausage, cook a bit to meld flavors and finish seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve over pasta and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
*NOTE: If using whole wheat rigatoni from Deano’s Pasta as I did, I recommend cooking it a few minutes longer than the recommended time since it won’t be finished off in a sauce. I do also recommend Deano’s whole wheat rigatoni. It is delicious!