Zucchini or summer squash, sweet corn, bell peppers and red onion
I scooped up a piece of zucchini with my fork. “I feel like a lot has changed.”
Roo looked up from his plate. “What are you talking about?”
“I saw a child today; thirteen, maybe fifteen-”
“So you saw a teenager.”
“A child,” I reiterated, setting down my fork, “who was walking in front of me at Fenway and I could see her butt. Hanging out of her shorts.”
“Like her pants were falling down?”
“Like they were so short, that I wanted to hug her and give her my yoga pants.”
“You do realize you sound about eighty five right now.”
I picked up my water glass and took a sip. “That’s kind of my point. I mean, when did I become so conservative?”
“You’re really asking me this.”
“I know! But I can’t remember caring about how short a girl’s shorts were when I was in my twenties. I don’t think I even noticed what children were wearing.”
“Well, we all change. It’s part of growing up.”
“I guess.” I said, fumbling with my napkin. “Like, when I was in college I didn’t eat carbs.”
“I know. This,” I said, tilting my pasta dish towards Roo, “is delicious. Why would I give that up?”
“But I thought you drank Natty Ice in school.”
“Correction, The Beast.”
“So you didn’t eat carbs, but you drank beer?”
“I know, totally logical, right?”
Roo laughed, “I am so glad we all change.”
This dish is slightly creamy from the zucchini that’s practically melted into the pasta after tossing it together. A few roasted tomatoes, sweet summer corn, and a bit of bite from the bell pepper, make this dish an assortment of quintessential summer flavors. The roasted vegetables are slightly caramelized coming out of the oven, enhancing their depth and sweetness, while chopped basil adds a bit of brightness. The rosemary marcona almonds just give it a some crunch with every bite.
Adapted from Bon Appetit Outdoor Entertaining
A large pot
A sharp knife
A roasting pan (maybe 2 if they’re on the small side) *if you do not have a non-stick pan, spray it with a bit of cooking spray prior to use
1 large zucchini or summer squash, peeled (optional, but I like that when it’s peeled it ‘melts’ into the pasta when tossed in) cut into half lengthwise, then sliced into half inch thick rounds
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, each tomato quartered (you can also use two large handfuls of cherry tomatoes, no need to cut them)
1 bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 large red onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
3 tablespoons of mild tasting olive oil
Salt to taste
2 big handfuls of dried penne pasta (I used whole wheat)
2 ears of corn, shucked, kernels cut off
1 teaspoon of red pepper flake (if you’re heat sensitive, start with a quarter teaspoon)
One third to half cup of fresh basil, chopped
Quarter cup of marcona almonds with rosemary, chopped *If you don’t have these on hand, use a quarter cup of almonds, chopped and add 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary to your roasted vegetables with the red pepper flake (at time corn is added)
Place your oven rack into the middle position in your oven. Preheat your oven to 450F.
Fill your large pot with water (about three quarters of the way) and place it on a burner to bring it to a boil.
While you’re waiting for your water to boil, add the zucchini/summer squash, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion and minced garlic to your roasting pan. Drizzle the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and salt (to taste) over the ingredients. Toss to coat.
Roast the vegetables for about thirty to forty minutes, or until they’re slightly caramelized and cooked through. About twenty minutes into the roasting, remove the pan and add the corn, red pepper flake and dried rosemary (if not using rosemary marcona almonds). Toss everything together again, and continue to roast till done.
Add the penne pasta to your (hopefully now) boiling pot of water. Cook the pasta till al dente. Reserve two or three tablespoons of pasta water and drain the pasta in a colander. Pour the pasta back into the pot and set aside.
When the vegetables and tomatoes are roasted, add them to your pasta. Add the chopped basil and almonds. Toss the ingredients together. Add a little pasta water if it looks a little dry, and toss.