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Pasta and Squash with Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta

Posted by on August 10, 2018
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Pasta and Squash with Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta

For a pasta and squash recipe that would marry the two ingredients in a light, flavorful way while avoiding blandness, we kept the skin on the squash to keep the pieces intact, then salted the squash to release excess liquid. We finished the sauce with an acid, such as balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, or red wine vinegar, to give it a kick and paired the sauce with farfalle to best trap the bits of flavor-packed ingredients.

Ingredients

4 medium zucchini and/or summer squash (2 pounds), halved lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
kosher salt
1 lb. farfalle
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes, each tomato halved
¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
½ cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)

Method
1. A combination of zucchini and summer squash makes for a nice mix of color, but either may be used exclusively if desired. Kosher salt works best for salting the squash because residual grains are easily wiped away.
2. Toss zucchini and/or summer squash with 1 tablespoon kosher salt in medium bowl; transfer to large colander, set colander over bowl, and let stand 30 minutes. Spread squash evenly over double layer of paper towels; pat dry with additional paper towels and wipe off residual salt.
3. Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil, covered in stockpot. Add 2 tablespoons kosher satl (or 1 tablespoon table salt) and pasta, stir to separate, and cook al dente. Drain and return to stockpot.
4. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just beginning to smoke; swirl to coat pan. Add half of squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and slightly charred, 5 to 7 minutes; transfer to baking sheet or large plate. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet, swirl to coat pan, and repeat with remaining squash. Return skillet to medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat pan. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and browned, about 3 minutes; add garlic, lemon zest, and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Return squash to skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until combined and heated through, about 30 seconds. Add squash mixture, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, tomatoes, mint, vinegar, and olives to pasta in stockpot; toss to combine. Adjust seasonings, if necessary, and serve, sprinkling individual bowls with portion of feta.

Source: Cook’s Illustrated (4 servings)

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