Pasta with Summer Squash, Zucchini, and Tomatoes

Pasta with Summer Squash, Zucchini, and Tomatoes
Pasta with Summer Squash, Zucchini, and TomatoesKaroline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe

Serves 4 generously

With a simple sauce made from pasta cooking water and grated Parmesan, this easy, light pasta dinner goes to the table in less than 30 minutes. Local summer squash, zucchini, and tomatoes are sauteed and tossed with a curly, bite-size pasta such as pipe-rigate, cavatappi, campanelle, or conchiglie, the cooking water, cheese, and plenty of parsley.

Salt and pepper, to taste
3tablespoons olive oil
2medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced ¼-inch thick
1medium summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced ¼-inch thick
3medium tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
cup chopped fresh parsley
2tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
12ounces short curly pasta, such as pipe-rigate, cavatappi, or campanelle
cups finely grated Parmesan
Extra chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)

1. Set a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the zucchini and squash with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the zucchini and squash soften and brown on some sides. Remove from the pan.


3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. When it is hot, add the tomatoes and cook, stirring often, for 6 minutes or until they turn into a chunky sauce. Stir in the ⅓ cup parsley and the oregano. Turn off the heat.

4. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes (less time than recommended on the package), or until the pasta is not quite cooked through. Before you drain the pasta, take a heatproof measuring cup and dip it into the pasta cooking water and scoop out 1 cup.

5. Drain the pasta into a colander and without rinsing it, immediately return it to its pot. Add the pasta cooking water. Turn the heat to medium and stir the pasta so it absorbs some of the liquid. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

6. Add the tomatoes and the zucchini mixture and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until all the vegetables are blended with the pasta and the mixture is hot. Taste the pasta to make sure it is tender; if not, continue cooking over low heat for a minute or two. Add 1 cup Parmesan cheese and stir well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.


7. Divide the pasta and vegetables among 4 shallow bowls. Sprinkle with some of the remaining ½ cup Parmesan and parsley.

Lisa Zwirn