Friday, September 30, 2011

Pasta with squash, our summer & fall "minestra"

Do you know how to cook "pasta con la zucchina a minestra"? I already told you about pasta a minestra in general, now we are preparing a specific minestra with squash. This is a great summer and autumn dish.

I know I know, everyone thinks that in summer you only have to eat cold or refreshing food, but Sicilian tradition do not agree with that. Infact in Summer we also prepare some types of pasta made with broth, like a soup, and this is exactly one of them. You may not have it too liquid (like it is in the pic above, but that depends only on your personal taste!) Even better is having it in this season, when the first rains arrive.

Ingredients & preparation for 4 people:
1 half of a squash (if very long)
1 small onion
400 gr. broken spaghetti (Ital. spaghetti spezzati)

4-5 ts of tomato sauce
80 gr. matured caciocavallo cheese in small pieces
salt (or a bio stock-cube if preferred)
olive oil
a small piece of dried red pepper

1. You peel the squash (pic on the left), cut it in half and then in thin slices. 2. On a medium heat put a large pan with half the water. 3. As soon as the water boils put salt (or a bio stock-cube if preferred), onion and the squash in pieces. 4. After about 12-14 minutes put the pasta and the tomato sauce. For this dish we use the "spaghetti spezzati" type of pasta, which are simply broken spaghetti.
5. When the pasta is almost cooked (usually after 10-12 minutes) put the little pieces of caciocavallo cheese inside the soup, so that they have the time to melt a bit (matured caciocavallo is very hard).This local cheese is very salty and tasty, so is the perfect contrast with the delicate taste of the squash.

If you want to try this lovely pasta don't hesitate: it's simple, healthy and tasty. Perfect for vegeterians or even health food nut people :) Enjoy!

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