Tonight, I prepared a new dish for supper which I thought would be easy to make. I had bought some summer yellow squash and some gorgeous tomatoes plus fresh egg pasta at Idylwylde Farm that I thought might be nice to make a meal together.
It took a lot longer than I had thought to prepare:
a. peel and cut the squash lengthwise, then diagonally in bite size pieces
b. rinse rectangular grill pan and heat on a rack about six inches from the broiler
c. mix with my hands the chopped squash with three cloves chopped garlic, grapeseed oil, a little Lawry’s garlic salt, sea salt and coarse pepper
d. spray heated grill pan with vegetable oil; spread squash out on the grill pan and broil until golden brown (about 15 minutes)
e. cut up a large fresh tomato in small wedges
f. after removing the squash, spray again and spread out the cut tomato pieces; sprinkle tomatoes lightly with a little sugar to caramelize and brown under the broiler (about 10 minutes.)
g. In a nice serving bowl, spoon the squash on the bottom and add the broiled tomatoes on top. Cut up some fresh basil leaves and scatter on top.
a. Boil salted water and add fresh pasta after pulling it apart before dropping it into the pot; cook for about 3-4 minutes tasting at intervals until it is soft enough and also slightly al dente
b. In a separate saucepan, melt three quarters of a stick of unsalted butter; saute 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic; when golden, add a small container of cream and heat gently. Add fresh or freeze-dried parsley
c. Vitamix a chunk of parmesan reggiano cheese; add a half cup of the grated cheese to the cream, stir gently to mix and take off the burner.
d. Drain cooked pasta well, do not rinse in cold water, just shake it a few times in a colander to extract the water. Run a knife through the cooked pasta to make the strands more manageable. In a clean large bowl, pour the parmesan cream mixture. Add the hot drained pasta and mix well with the parmesan alfredo cream.
On dinner plates, serve some of the alfredo pasta in a circle; add grilled vegetables on top, sprinkle with more parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves on top.
The dish was surprisingly tender and full of flavor. It made a big difference to dry roast the vegetables rather than cooking them in a skillet.
I have to warn you that I got a little cranky with all the broiling (once for the squash, another for the tomato); making the alfredo sauce while testing the pasta for doneness. While I was cooking in the warm kitchen, it reminded me how much simpler my cooking has become (at least most of the time!)