Monday, July 21, 2008

Baked Penne with Summer Squash, Tomatoes, and Basil

source- Cooks Illustrated - Cover and Bake cookbook

This is SO good! Eric insists he's had this at Olive Garden. It has one of those rich, delicious pasta cream sauces. It tastes so much better than what this picture looks like.

This recipe calls for FRESH basil and other ingredients which we used so I cannot guarantee any results if you use dried.

Topping : (I like to skip this part, I don't like bread crumb toppings, but Eric likes it)
4 slices white sandwich bread, torn into quarters

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 lb zucchini, halved lengthwise, sliced ½” thick

1 lb yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise, ½” thick
Kosher salt (not regular salt, it will not wipe off as easily)

¾ lb penne
4 Tbsp olive oil

6 medium shallots, minced (about 1 c)
4 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press

¼ c flour
2 ½ c low- sodium chicken broth
1 ½ c heavy cream

2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 c)
¾ c chopped fresh basil leaves

¼ c chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 400.

Toss zucchini and squash with 2 Tbsp kosher salt and place in a colander and set inside a large bowl to drain, about 30 minutes. Bring 4 quarts water to boil over high heat. Stir in 2 Tbsp kosher salt and pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain pasta and return to pot and toss with 1 Tbsp oil. Set aside.

Process the bread and butter in a food processor fitted with steel blade until coarsely ground, about six 1 seconds pulses. Set aside. (Again, I skip this part)

Spread salted squash evenly over a double layer of paper towels and pat dry with additional towels. Wipe off any residual salt. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking. Add half the squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and slightly charred, 5-7 minutes. Transfer squash to plate. Add another 1 Tbsp oil to pan and repeat with remaining squash.

Wipe skillet clean with paper towels.

Add 1 Tbsp oil to skillet and return to medium-high heat until shimmering.

Add shallots and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth and cream. Bring to simmer and cook, whisking often, until lightly thickened, about 1 minute. Off the heat, stir in Parmesan, basil, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (we didn't season and it was fine)

Add the sauce, tomatoes, and sauteed squash to pasta, stir gently to combine. Pour pasta into 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumb topping. Bake until bubbling and crumbs are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.


Hatsuho said...

that looks really yummy, dalyce!!

Auds Beck said...

oh yum-that looks awesome! We love cooks illustrated-we will have to look for that book

JBeacham said...

I made this tonight and it was excellent!! Definitely a 10. It would be great with chicken and different veggies . Thanks for the recipe.

Dalyce said...

I agree. We've thought abt doing chicken next time and I want to skip the veggies all together. And it would make it easier.