Summer squash….. There is no way you can put them in any other season. The name says it all.  They are great raw, cooked, roasted, grilled, you name it.

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The other day I made a very light and pretty salad using summer squash. To make it look really good I shaved them into very thin ribbons. It was such a pretty sight.

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BUT. There was soooo much leftover of the zucchini on my kitchen counter that I had to come up with something.

And then I remembered a pasta from Italy using fried zucchini. So I decided to try and make something similar, but a bit more on the healthy side.

So what I did, I used all the leftover zucchini, chopped them and made a sauce out of them. And because I had some more small zucchinis, I cut them in half and sliced them. Pan fried those in a little bit of garlic scented olive oil, and served it with fresh basil and toasted pine nuts.

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It is a fresh, easy, quick flavorful pasta dish, and celebrating summer squash. In case you don’t need to use up your leftover zucchini bits, just follow my instructions below.

Ingredients  (yields 4)

  • 1/2 pack (8 oz)  store bought vegan pasta, preferably spaghetti
  • 8 smaller zucchini (mix green and yellow if you can)
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, you will need the juice
  • 2-3 tbsp of grated hard goat cheese or pecorino or parmesan
  • handful of basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp of toasted pine nuts
  • salt, black pepper and hot paprika (not smoked!) to taste

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 Instructions

  1. Lengthwise cut your zucchinis in half. Then slice them into 1/4 inch slices.
  2. Heat 2tbsp olive oil and add 2 garlic cloves.
  3. Toast the garlic only a few minutes carefully, not to burn and remove from pan.
  4. Fry the zucchini slices in the garlic oil, for only a few minutes so that they have color but will not fall apart. Fry them in batches if needed, so they all get some color instead of steaming them…
  5. Save and keep warm 1/2 of the zucchini for plating and put the rest back in the pan.
  6. Add the minced garlic cloves, stirring constantly, so it will not burn, squeeze over the lemon juice, add salt, black pepper, hot paprika and some water, just to keep it moistened. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, when the zucchini slices start to fall apart.
  7. At the moment when you cover the zucchini, start cooking your pasta in salted water and add 1 tbsp olive oil too. If you start cooking the pasta at that point, it will be ready when your sauce is ready, and you can use the pasta cooking water to finish your sauce.
  8. When the zucchini is soft enough, smash them a little bit with a fork or masher. Add some pasta cooking liquid and mix in the cheese. This all will create a sauce. You will not need to use anything else. You can adjust anytime with some extra cooking water and/or grated cheese.
  9. Serve the pasta with the sauce, the fried zucchini slices and
  10. Finish off with tiny basil leaves or sliced ones, freshly grated black pepper (lots), cheese and pine nuts.
  11. Make sure you have a glass of chilled white wine with it too!

ENJOY!