When the weather is nice, spending a ton of time outside becomes natural. Staying out until the sun goes down, and finding yourself with a sudden ravishing hunger becomes a familiar feeling, too.
That’s when simple recipes like this one prove themselves to be rather handy. Here, a quick sauté of some onions, squash and spinach creates a light and easy sauce for a meal you can make in less than 30 minutes. It’s filling, yet not in the kind of way that will weigh you down on a balmy summer night, and is spruced up with parsley to make it feel extra fresh.
The small amount of browned butter here enhances the inherent butteriness of yellow summer squash, but feel free to use all olive oil if that’s your preference. Also, be sure to stick with angel hair or spaghettini when choosing your whole wheat pasta. While this sauce is certainly flavorful, it’s delicate, so to truly experience all of its nuances, a thinner pasta works best. Pair this with a side salad and a cold beverage of your choice, and you create a no-fuss summer meal for any night of the week.
Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach
- 8 ounces whole-wheat spaghettini (1/2 box)
- 1 Tbsp. butter or Earth Balance, divided
- 1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 large summer squash (or 2 med.), chopped
- 3 cups of spinach
- 1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan (can be excluded, if dairy-free)
- 2 Tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water, until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
In large saute pan, heat butter and 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high. Add onions and garlic, and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add squash and chili pepper flakes, and season the pan with salt. Saute until onions are browned, and squash is tender.
Stir in reserved pasta water and spinach, and cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Add parsley, and adjust salt, to taste.
Add drained and cooked pasta to the pan. Toss with remaining Tbsp. of olive oil if pasta seems dry. Serve immediately, topped with pumpkin seeds and Parm.