Pasta curls up with squash in a colorful summer dish

August 09, 1998|By Annette Gooch | Annette Gooch,UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE

On the dinner plate or in the garden, zucchini is one of those things in life that's most appreciated when there's just enough of it, less so when there's an overabundance.

Still, it's a good idea, given zucchini's prolific nature, to prepare to handle a bumper crop from the backyard garden or a neighbor's largess.

Tips:

* Fresh zucchini (green or yellow) should be firm, with no brown spots. Smaller squash (6 inches or less) are usually sweeter than larger, more mature ones. Store in a loosely closed plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three days.

* To julienne vegetables, first cut into thin slices of desired length. Stack slices, overlapping slightly like shingles, and cut straight down through the slices lengthwise, forming slender sticks.

A trio of julienne-cut vegetables - green and yellow zucchini and carrots - adds color to pasta tossed with herbs and Parmesan cheese. Look for the firmest 6- to 8-inch zucchini you can find; larger squash are often pithy. Crookneck squash can be substituted for yellow zucchini.

Cole Publishing Group

Zucchini With Pasta

Serves 6 to 8

1/2 pound spaghetti or linguine

3 carrots

3 green zucchini

3 yellow zucchini

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, minced

3/4 cup parsley, minced

1/2 cup fresh chives, minced

2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, minced

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring 4 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in pasta and cook until al dente or done to taste. Drain and set aside.

Peel carrots if necessary. Cut carrots and all the zucchini into long, fine julienne strips (about 1/8 inch thick).

In a large skillet, warm oil and butter over low heat. Add garlic and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes. Add drained pasta, zucchini, basil, parsley, chives, marjoram and salt. Gently toss to combine and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and place in serving bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Pub Date: 8/09/98

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