2 Simple End-of-Summer Pastas (Perfect for Weeknights!)

Oh, pasta. Why do we love you so? That's right...it's because you're so easy to make and so versatile. We can take almost any ingredient and with it, turn you into a stunningly simple meal. And, there's always some of you in our pantry. Plus, you have carbs. And we love carbs. (Sorry, carb-haters.) (Not really.) 

Seriously, though. The two dishes featured here make the most out of farm- or garden-fresh ingredients and they can be prepped in the time it takes to boil the pasta water. It doesn't get fresher or easier than that!

Our first "simple end-of-summer pasta" is our take on Caprese salad, but in pasta form. It was inspired by a cheese made by Meadowstone Farm* of  Brooklyn, CT, and a pasta from Meriano's Bake Shoppe in Madison, CT, which is why we are calling it "Connecticut Caprese Pasta." Stracciatella (Italian for "little shreds") is fresh mozzarella that has been shredded then mixed with fresh cream. It's soft, delicate, and delightfully creamy. In this recipe, we mixed Meriano's tomato-basil infused linguine with Meadowstone's cheese, and our own chopped basil and chopped garden tomatoes. Voila! Dinner in about 15 minutes. Using the tomato-basil pasta added so much flavor, so try it if you can.

Connecticut Caprese Pasta


1 pound pasta (we used tomato-basil linguine)
2 cups chopped garden tomatoes
8-10 basil leaves 
1 package stracciatella cheese (or burrata or fresh mozzarella chopped into bite-sized pieces)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Set water over heat to boil pasta. While it is getting hot, chop tomatoes and basil; set aside. When water is boiling, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta when ready and fold in chopped tomatoes and basil. Then fold in the cheese and season to taste.

Our second "simple end-of-summer pasta" is one we made out of sheer laziness. We looked around one weeknight shortly after school began and realized that it was dinner time and we didn't have much to work with. A yellow squash donated to us by the neighbors (thanks, Whits), some sliced prosciutto from a Portuguese shop brought over by Amy's mom, some shredded parmesan that was in the cheese drawer, and whatever was in our garden. Okay, maybe it was time to go grocery shopping. And, this is probably why we have cats and not kids. But we did have pasta in the pantry (see above), so, we give you our strange little take on alfredo:

School Just Started Summer Squash Pasta


1 pound pasta (we used thick spaghetti)
1 tablespoon bacon grease (don't judge us) (use olive oil if you must)
1 yellow squash (or zucchini), cut into "batons"
4-6 slices prosciutto, cut into thin strips
6-10 cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup half and half (or milk, or light cream, some dairy product)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Set water over heat to boil pasta. While it is getting hot, heat bacon grease in a large skillet over medium heat. Add squash, prosciutto, tomatoes and garlic, and cook until tender and fragrant. Add parsley and chicken broth, and cook 3-4 minutes. Add half and half and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add parmesan and cook, stirring thoroughly, until slightly thickened. Cook pasta according to package directions, and drain. Toss pasta with sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.

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