Gemelli with Yellow Squash, Peas, and Basil

Are you ready for a delicious, fast, and ridiculously easy recipe? Gemelli with Yellow Squash, Peas, and Basil from the July/August 2008 issue of Everyday Food is it. I mentioned last week that I’m trying to work through my pantry items and frozen food in anticipation of our move; this was a “frozen pea” project (and you don’t even have to thaw them!).

I put a large pot of water on to boil while I prepped my ingredients. I quartered 3 medium yellow squash lengthwise and thinly sliced the quarters. I also cut 4 tablespoons of butter into small cubes, squeezed half a lemon to yield 1 tablespoon of juice, grated 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, and tore 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves.

When the water reached a boil, I added 8 ounces (about half of a standard box) of gemelli pasta. Two minutes before the pasta finished cooking, I added the squash and peas to the pot. After the final 2 minutes of cooking time had passed, I drained the pasta and vegetables, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.

I put the pasta and vegetables back in the pot (but off the heat) and added the cubed butter, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of Parmesan, and 1/4 cup of pasta water. I seasoned the mixture with salt and pepper and tossed it to combine. I added a little more water to make the pasta a bit saucier, stirred in the torn basil, and then sprinkled the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan over the pasta to serve.

This was so simple and so delicious. Dr. O and I really thought the flavors worked well together. (It’s hard to bring a dish down when it has butter and Parmesan going for it!) I also really liked the texture of the squash; it was crisp-tender and not in the least bit soggy. Add the fact that it can all be thrown together in one pot, and we have a winner!

TIPS: I am the queen of forgetting to reserve pasta water when a recipe calls for it, so I’ve started placing a heatproof bowl in the sink before I even start cooking. That way, the bowl catches most of the pasta water and I can just use a measuring cup to portion out what I need.

Also, since this recipe *is* so simple, it’s another one where seasoning is really important. I think I went through three rounds of adding salt and pepper before I got the flavor I wanted. Go easy… Remember that you can always add more, but it’s pretty hard to get salt out of a dish once you’ve added it.

Recipe link: Gemelli with Yellow Squash, Peas, and Basil


1 Response to “Gemelli with Yellow Squash, Peas, and Basil”

  1. 1 Jennifer D August 2, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Mmmm… we are pasta lovers over here so I’m excited to try this easy dish! Wonder if Aidan will go for the peas and squash?!

    (It’s becoming pretty comical over here when we have a really yummy dinner. I always ask Christian, “guess who gets the credit for this one?” Yep, you guessed it.)

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