Food + Wine

July Pasta

This heat is driving me crazy.  Crazy, I tell you!!  I’m running out of creative ways to keep busy with my kids.  We go for walks and play outside, but the heat is unbearable, my son is a sweater, I get light-headed from sweating so much while still nursing, my daughter is too young for sunscreen and her head is too small for hats.  We drive in our air conditioned car to fun places but my daughter is unbelievably anti-car.  She screams from the time we pull out of the garage to the time I turn off the car, only to do it all over again on the way home.  So we’ve been keeping pretty close to home these days, but I’m going stir-crazy spending so much time indoors.

I knew I needed help when I found myself googling What Happened to Marina on Fresh Beat Band? 

So to help myself feel better, I developed a new recipe.

This is one of the best pasta dishes I’ve come up with, it’s such a celebration of the vegetables and herbs I love at this time of year.  And I happen to think most any dish can be bettered with a runny egg perched on top of it.  Once you cut into the yolk, it oozes all throughout the pasta and helps to create a yummy sauce.  It’s the same way my husband and I prefer to make our pasta carbonara at home, and I highly suggest you try it.  This dish has such a depth of flavor because you’re roasting the veggies before tossing them with the pasta, which gives them great texture and intense flavor.  I prefer to use whole wheat pasta when I can, but feel free to use whatever you like.  This is a dish I definitely will be making again.

 *July Pasta
(recipe serves 4)

5-6 medium zucchini, sliced into disks about 1/4 inch thick (If you’re using smaller ones, you may need up to 8.  They shrink a lot after they’ve been roasted.)
3-4 ears of corn, (depending on their size), kernels removed*
1 medium onion, sliced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested.  (you will need some juice as well)
8 ounces whole wheat linguini
handful each of fresh tarragon and basil leaves
4 eggs
about 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan
-Boil your pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente, and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain pasta and set aside.
-Place your zucchini disks on 2 cookie sheets or roasting pans, coated in olive oil.  Season with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little sugar.  Place your corn kernels and onion slices on another pan, season the same.
-Roast on 425 for 30-45 minutes, or until most of the veggies are crispy and golden brown (especially the zucchini, you want them to be chip-like, but not all the way browned or they will be bitter).  Set aside.
Place a non-stick saute pan on medium-low heat and add some olive oil.  Crack your eggs into the pan, but do not scramble.  Allow the whites to begin to cook, then cover your pan with another pan or some tin foil, and turn the heat down to low.  Uncover and check your eggs after a minute.  The whites should be entirely set, and the yolks should have some jiggle.  You’re looking for ‘over-medium’ cooked eggs.
-In the same large pot as you cooked your pasta, saute your minced garlic in a little olive oil.  Add your lemon zest and cook for a minute or so, but don’t allow your garlic to brown.
-Add your cooked pasta to the pot and toss.  Add all of your roasted veggies except a handful or so of the crispiest zucchini disks.  Toss to combine.
-Pour in your reserved pasta water and grate in your cheese.  Add as much as you’d like, it will most likely be around 1/2 cup or so.
-Mince your tarragon and basil leaves and add right before you’re ready to serve, along with a squirt of lemon juice (a little less than half of the lemon).
-Check your seasoning.
-Each serving of pasta gets on egg on top (you can either use a cookie cutter or a butter knife to cut each egg out of the pan), and can be garnished with some extra herbs and/or more grated cheese.
*(the easiest way I’ve found to remove the kernels from a fresh corn cob is to lay it flat on the cutting board instead of up and down.  No kernels fly away when it’s flat)

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  • Reply Terrianne, Call me Ree July 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Something quick and easy is always preferred on a hot day. The heat can be so oppresive. Especially with two small children.
    So glad to hear you're finding ways to manage the challenge of it all. I'm sure your family was grateful for a lovely dish!

    By the way, I'm absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much for asking.
    How are things with you?

  • Reply Terrianne, Call me Ree July 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm


  • Reply Everyday Champagne July 9, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks Ree! I think about you a lot, hope you're feeling as great as you look with that little baby on the way!

  • Reply Pam July 9, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Yeah, heat can wear kids out fast and us too. At least here we may have 2 or 3 hot days then it cools way down for several. It's hard to cook when it's so hot but your pasta dish is perfect.

    My DIL just returned to work when the baby was 4 months old. She cried and cried about it so I know she would love to be home every day like you, but she has a great job she can't turn down. Funny with your daughter in the car! Keep cool and enjoy your kids!

  • Reply SavoringTime in the Kitchen July 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Lots of wonderful flavors going on in that pasta! Suddenly, it's hot and humid here also but at least I don't have a 2-year-old 'sweater' most days – only when our grandson comes for the day 😉

  • Reply Everyday Champagne July 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you ladies! And Pam, your comment really brought everything into perspective, thank you.

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