Sunday, November 6, 2011

don't-forget-your-squash pasta.

i'm in a perpetual state of awe over the quality of produce in northern california. my weekly trips to the farmer's market have become emotional experiences. granted, it's mostly joy that i'm grappling with, but the occasional bout of agony will pop up when i have to restrain myself from overdoing it and thereby not purchasing 15 heirloom tomatoes or an obscenely delicious (and even more obscenely priced) freshly baked pastry. 
it feels like the rest of the world have been aware for a while now that summer has passed and fall (or even early winter!) has hit. but it's been hard to come to grips with the idea of seasons changing when they haven't really been doing that here. in theory, i can understand that gourds are all the rage these days. but i'm still clinging to my summer squash and zucchini! if you're similarly in denial and can also scrounge up the last of these long and lean veggies, this recipe is one of the simplest, most delightful ways to cook them up. big coins, tossed, with some garlic, olive oil, onions, and topped with fresh dill and cilantro. i threw in short pasta for a one pot meal, but this would make just as great a side dish or grain accompaniment. either way, it'll make you yearn for summer to come all over again. multi-colored squash pasta
adapted, onceagain, from 101 cookbooks

2 tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 red onions
1 medium zucchini, sliced into coins
1 medium summer squash, sliced into coins
1 handful of dill, chopped
1 handful of cilantro, chopped roughly
200 g whole wheat farfalle pasta
salt and pepper

in a large non-stick pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium high. stir in the garlic and cook until it starts to brown. stir in the onions, give it a pinch of salt, and cook until they start to soften. add the zucchini, give it a toss, and try your best to arrange the coins in a single layer on the pan so let them sear. add a pinch of salt and let them cook for a few minutes. as they sear, flip them over to let the other side brown.

meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. reserve about ½ cup of pasta water and drain.

add the pasta, a bit of pasta water dill, cilantro, and another good pinch of salt and pepper to the zucchini pan. adjust seasoning as necessary and serve immediately as is or with some grated parmesan.