Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Spaghetti with Summer Vegetable Sauce

Borders is officially going out of business, which means one thing for me:

Run into the store and hope that they still have cooking magazines for 40% off.

I lucked out - I managed to grab Cooks Illustrated, Cooks Country and the Food Network mags.  SCORE!  I also managed to grab the Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook (in the bargain bin plus another 20% off) and the Williams-Sonoma Cooking at Home book (also in the bargain bin!!) so overall, a good haul.  The books are still only at 20% off, so for books not in the bargain bin, it might be cheaper on Amazon.

Browsing the August/September issue of Cooks Country, I am immediately struck by the Spaghetti with Summer Vegetable Sauce recipe.  Not only does it use fresh, seasonal vegetables, it is extremely simple, and is listed as one of their 30 minute meals - due to the use of store-bought pesto.

This dish is extremely simple - cut up veggies, cook until softened, boil pasta in the meantime, combine in one pot, add pesto, serve.  It really is that easy, and that delicious!

Just a quick note on the vegetables - I peeled the squash and zucchini.  It's probably preferable that you don't, because the vegetables won't get mushy as quick, but since I didn't buy organic vegetables, I usually take the skin off.

Why does pasta photograph so weird?

Spaghetti with Summer Vegetable Sauce from Cooks Country, August/September 2011


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used 2 and 1 tablespoon olive oil)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
  • 1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved (I used one bag of Nature Sweet tomatoes - exactly 12 ounces and I had a coupon!)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I used chicken broth)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti (I used campagnelle)
  • 6 tablespoons basil pesto (about 3 ounces.  I bought a six ounce container, and used half of it.)
1.  Bring water to in a boil in a large pot.

2.  Melt butter in a 12 inch skillet (believe me, you need a large skillet) over medium high heat.  Add onion and cook until softened, about five minutes.  

3.  Stir in squash and zucchini and stir until softened, about 3-5 minutes.

4.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

5.  Stir in tomatoes, wine (or broth), 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Cook until liquid is reduced, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6.  Meanwhile, add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water and cook, stirring often, until al dente.  Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water, and drain pasta.  Return pasta to pot.

7.  Toss vegetable mixer and pesto with pasta, adding reserved pasta water to thin the sauce as needed (I only needed a little splash of water.)

Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.

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