Updated: Sep 2
Here is a pasta dish quick and simple enough to make on a weeknight, but beautiful and flavorful enough to serve to guests. I once heard a talk by Dr. Michael Klaper in which he advised us to eat green and yellow vegetables every day. So here I showcase green zucchini and yellow squash in this fast and easy pasta. The accompanying tomatoes and garlic are roasted to boost the flavor of the raw squashes. I love to use fresh plum tomatoes in this, but when I don't have any canned will work just fine too. If you love garlic, consider using two bulbs! Fresh basil adds the finishing touch.
Pasta with Zucchini, Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic
1 lb. pasta of choice (I like brown rice penne or fusilli) 6-12 plum tomatoes, halved (can substitute 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained) 1 full garlic bulb 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. snipped or chopped fresh basil 4 Tbs. nutritional yeast (see Notes below) 1 zucchini, grated 1 yellow squash, grated (see Notes below) 3 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice Salt and Pepper to taste (salt is optional)
Set oven to 350°. To roast the garlic, slice off the "top" of the garlic bulb (not the pointy end). Wrap entire bulb in foil. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread diced tomatoes (or halved fresh plum tomatoes if you are lucky enough to have them!) on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the chopped basil, 1 tablespoon of the nutritional yeast and salt and pepper. Place foil wrapped garlic bulb on the same cookie sheet with the tomatoes and roast all together in oven for 60 minutes.
While tomatoes and garlic roast, prepare your other ingredients and cook pasta according to package directions. When tomatoes and garlic are done, squeeze garlic cloves out of the bulb and kind of mash into the hot pasta. Discard the outer "paper skin" of the garlic bulb. Add the tomatoes, grated zucchini/squash, remaining basil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6
I think the skin of the yellow squash is a little thick and tough so I peel mine first. Then I slice in half and scrape out the seeds as they can be rather large. Whether you choose to do this is personal preference. You can also just use 2 zucchini or 2 yellow squash.
Since this is a plant-based blog you will not find cheeses in my recipes. Instead, to get that cheesy flavor I use nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a very healthy deactivated yeast packed with B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein. It does not in any way resemble or taste like brewers yeast or bread yeast. It is a yellow flake (use the flake kind not the powder if possible) that dissolves into the food you add it to imparting that cheese-nut flavor. You can find it at Whole Foods, in health food stores, or buy it online here.