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Garden Glory Pasta with Mozzarella & Basil

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Susannah Locketti: I love this time of year, because right about now, everybody's garden is bursting with summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes and fresh herbs. I'm especially fond of the folks who give away their gardens' glories to family, friends and neighbors (hint, hint). I've been the lucky recipient of summer veggies in the past week, and I decided to put them to use in a light and fresh pasta recipe that screams summer. I've combined summer's best vegetables with fettuccine, garlic, olive oil and fresh basil to create a colorful dish that can be served hot, cold or room temperature. The addition of fresh mozzarella on top affordably adds substance to the dish -- without requiring you to fire up the grill on a hot day.

Garden Glory Pasta

Garden Glory Pasta with Mozzarella & Basil
Recipe courtesy Susannah Locketti
Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 lb. fettuccine rigate
1 large yellow squash, sliced thin
1 large zucchini, sliced thin
Large handful small-size tomatoes, quartered
½ cup olive oil, divided
4 to 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
8 oz. ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
Salt and pepper

Method:
While the pasta is boiling, slice all your veggies and the cheese. In the last 45 seconds of the pasta's boiling, add the yellow squash and zucchini slices to the pasta pot. Drain pasta-veggie mixture within a minute. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add ¼ cup of the olive oil and the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes without browning. Reduce the heat and add the pasta mixture, tomatoes, the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and the basil. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to coat. Serve family-style in a deep platter, top with the sliced cheese and garnish with a sprig of basil.

Susannah's Time- & Money-Saving Sense:
I worked with summer vegetables and herbs I had on hand, rather than creating a dish based on vegetables I needed to buy. I grow my own herbs, so that was also a huge money-saver for this recipe.

If you have to buy them, seasonal vegetables cost less and are readily available. If you are a gardener, share your vegetables or herbs with a friend or neighbor, and include a copy of this recipe!

I used a fettuccine that cooked up in less than ten minutes and was on sale for under $1. Cutting the veggies while the pasta boils makes the best use of your time. Boiling the veggies with the pasta is also an efficient way to save time. I do this all the time, even with frozen bags of veggies in the winter (just allow 3 minutes cooking time for frozen veggies).

Garden Glory Pasta

The mozzarella adds some protein without you having to spend money on meats. You also don't need to cook the cheese, which is a plus in the summer. I got a great deal on the cheese via my grocery store flyer, so I couldn't resist. A dollop of ricotta cheese would also work well in this recipe in place of the mozzarella.

A well-stocked pantry is always a bonus. Be sure to always have olive oil and garlic on hand for my recipes; I make use of them constantly. If you have a lemon on hand, the zest would add a burst of fresh flavor to this dish!

Cost Breakdown:
Pasta -- $0.80
Cheese -- $3.00
Everything else was free/on hand, but even if you had to buy the veggies, you could still manage this dish for under $10.

Total Cost: $3.80

Copyright 2010 by Susannah Locketti


next: Throw an End-of-Summer Bash!
2 comments so far | Post a comment now
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