Baby Zucchini, Squash and Sausage with Lemony Pasta (serves 6)

What excited me about my box of vegetables from Good Work Farm this week? (look to top right of my blog to find out what I am talking about); baby zucchini and baby yellow squash. When I opened the box and found a hoard of these little gems I wanted to kiss them, they were so darn cute!

My little zucchini and squash from Good Work Farm, along with lemon basil and thyme from my garden.

They were no more than 4″ long and the last thing I wanted to do was slice them up and hide them in a complicated sauce. They deserved to be the star of my dinner last night and I worked hard to make that happen.

For the past couple of weeks I have been doing all sorts of summer stuff with my kids and getting home tired, and not much in the mood to cook. Then, something happens. I start to think about food and I get excited about the possibilities, especially when I have something wonderful at my disposal, like baby zucchini.

Is there anything lovelier than a baby zucchini?

I sliced them lengthways so as to keep their shape and size, and this allowed them to cook faster and brown the flesh a little. I tossed them with fresh lemon basil and intensified that flavor with lemon zest and butter. I added thyme sprigs to soften the tangy edge, and it all worked beautifully. I used an apple and onion seasoned sausage and tossed it all with some pasta and dinner was ready, with only 1 pot to clean! It was fresh, seasonal, and light-tasting, not to mention how good the tender squash and zucchini tasted. I am sad to think that by next week the remainder of the zucchini crop will have outgrown their cuteness, but, thankful that I had a chance to cook and eat them at least once this year. Little things like this is what makes eating seasonal food special.

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You will need: 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1 lb sausage (Sweet Italian, seasoned sausage such as garlic, garlic and onion, onion and white wine etc), sliced into bite-sized pieces, 1 medium/large sweet onion, diced, 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, a mixture of 12 baby zucchini ans squash, halved lengthways, 6 thyme sprigs, 1/2 cup lemon basil leaves, left whole, 1 tbs lemon zest, 2 tbs unsalted butter, 1 lb pasta (penne, shells, spirals), coarse sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 cup hot pasta water (scoop from pasta cooking water before draining).

1 – Put big pan on medium heat and add 3 tbs of oil. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes before adding the thyme. Continue to cook for another 2 minutes

Saute onions, add thyme sprigs

2 – Add the halved zucchini and squash, 3/4 tsp coarse salt, and cook for 10 minutes, turning gently every few minutes. The goal is to get them a little brown in places. Transfer everything with a spatula to a plate and set aside.

Add zucchini & squash

3 – Add the last tbs of oil and fry the sausage pieces until cooked (about 12 minutes.

*While the sausages are cooking put water on for pasta and when it boils cook according to instructions. Before draining, scoop out about 3/4 cup of pasta water and set aside.

Cook sausage pieces

4 – Transfer the vegetables back into the pan and cook until they have warmed up (about 1 minute). Adjust heat if you need to.

Transfer veggies back into pan with meat

5 – When pasta has cooked add immediately to pan, along with the lemon zest, butter and a 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Give everything a stir. If you want a looser sauce add the rest of the pasta water. Taste for seasoning and turn heat off.

Add butter, lemon zest , pasta and pasta water

Serve in warm shallow bowls and add a little Parmigiano Reggiano if you have it, OR leave in the pan and everybody can help themselves.

Lovely bowl of food topped with Parmigiano Reggiano

One response to “Baby Zucchini, Squash and Sausage with Lemony Pasta (serves 6)

  1. I wish I had these lite baby’s in HK

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