I was at a loss for what to make a few nights ago for dinner but was determined to use part of the giant bag of summer squash and zucchini my dad had dropped off from his garden. I went through the recipes stored in my Pepperplate account and stumbled across herbed summer squash pasta bake | smitten kitchen. I had to make quite a few changes but it turned out delicious anyway. Pasta obviously was swapped with wheat free pasta. I mixed it up and used both summer squash and zucchini instead of just summer squash because I didn’t have quite enough summer squash for the recipe and had zucchini to spare (still do). No garlic obviously so yes again the Garlic-Infused Oil came into play. Only the dark green part of the scallion was used as well. I used rice flour instead of all-purpose. Lactose free milk and different cheeses needed to be used as well.
Herbed Summer Vegetable Pasta Bake
Yield: 4-6 servings
- 8 oz wheat free pasta, any shape
- 1 tbsp Garlic-Infused Oil
- 1 lbs summer squash and zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Juice of half a lemon
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 bunch skinny scallions, sliced thin, dark green parts only
- Pinches of red pepper flakes, to taste
- 3 tbsp rice flour
- 1 1/2 cups lactose free milk, ideally whole but low-fat will also work
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
- 1 tbsp finely chopped mixed herbs of your choice (I used a mix of thyme, oregano lemon balm, and mint, but if you only have one herb use less)
- Salt and more pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or aged pecorino romano cheese, divided
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Bring a medium/large pot (if you have an oven safe pot go for it then you’ll only use the one pot) to bring well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook about 1 to 2 minutes shorter than box instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a skillet or the pot from the step before to a high heat. Once hot, add the garlic-infused oil and let it heat until almost smoking. Add sliced squash/zucchini and season with salt and pepper flakes and sear until golden brown. Continue to saute until it starts to wilt (about 10 minutes). Make sure you get color on all of your slices. Transfer to a bowl and squeeze lemon juice over the top. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Reheat the same pot over a medium heat. Melt butter in the bottom of pan. Add flour and mix until all absorbed. Add milk a splash at a time until everything has been thoroughly mixed. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the flavor. Add lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste. Let the mixture simmer for about 2 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and mix in the scallion, half the parsley, and the herbs. Season again if needed.
- Off the heat add the pasta, vegetables, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, and all of the cheddar, stirring to combine. Either bake in this pan if oven proof or transfer to an oven safe casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
- Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve hot.
What would I change?
Not much. I would probably shred the cheddar instead of cooking it in cubes for more even distribution but that’s about it.