There’s a time and a place for challenging yourself in the kitchen, but Monday after being quarantined in an apartment with a toddler for coming on six weeks is NOT IT.
You just focus on the cocktails (if you’re not having midweek alcohol, are you even quarantining right??!?!?!) cause I’ve got dinner covered: the absolutely SIMPLEST pasta ever.
If you’ve ever cooked anything before, you probably don’t even need a recipe for this. In fact, you’ve probably already made something exactly like this before.
But sometimes, in the middle of the weekday haze, we all need a little bit of a reminder to K.I.S.S. At least, I know I do.
(Maybe my new daily wine habit has something to do with that??)
Every time I make a recipe like this, that comes together in 30 minutes and doesn’t dirty every pan in my kitchen, I’m like…WHY DON’T I DO THIS EVERY WEEK?!?!
Because honestly, easy meals like this that are full of fresh clean flavors are so good and also go over so well with the whole family.
First, get your pasta water boiling. While that’s working its magic, saute your summer squash in olive oil and garlic until nice and browned. Cook your pasta, then toss it together with the cooked squash and the rest of your pasta mix-ins (grape tomatoes, basil, toasted pine nuts, balsamic vinegar – the gang’s all here). And that’s it!
It’s kind of amazing to spend so little time in the kitchen and hear so little complaining at the dinner table. Totally unclear why you would ever cook anything else.
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 lb zucchini and/or summer squash, sliced into ½-inch half moons
- 1 lb whole wheat pasta
- 12 oz grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- grated parmesan cheese, to serve
- Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the squash and saute until golden and slightly charred, about 7-9 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water and then drain.
- Return the pasta to the pot along with the cooked squash mixture, tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, vinegar, and remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Toss to combine. Add in the reserved cooking water a tbsp at a time, as needed, to get the sauce consistency you desire. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.