Friday, July 20, 2007
The Perfect Quick Summer Dinner
Again I return to my trusty Bon Appetit. Have I mentioned I love this magazine? Between Bon Appetit, Gourmet and Cooking Light, I will never have to repeat a dish if I don't want to. Pile my cookbook collection on top of that plus the over 100 recipes I have saved on my computer, I won't even be able to try all of them once before I die. At least I don't like shrimp; that saves me from a good handful of recipes.
Tonight I wanted something quick so I could get back to my studying. I have only 3 days remaining before the bar exam and I am definitely feeling crunch time. This was perfect. Very light, lots of grilled vegetables and on the table in less than 30 minutes. The only thing I did differently was use macaroni because I have apparently gone to the pasta well too many times and didn't have any ziti or penne left. Schuncks needs to have another sale. The dish would have been prettier with the penne, but the taste was still there! I also had to use feta because I didn't get to the Italian market before it closed. Darn family businesses closing before 9:00 PM. Don't they know I need ricotta salata?
Penne with Grilled Zucchini, Ricotta Salata, and Mint
From Bon Appetit
2 lbs small zucchini, trimmed and halved lengthwise
Olive oil for brushing
Kosher salt (I pretty much always use the sea salt in my grinder from Trader Joe's for everything, so I don't think the kosher salt is required)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 c fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
2 pinches of dried crushed red pepper
1 lb penne or ziti pasta
3 T olive oil
3/4 c crumbled ricotta salata
Prepare barbecue (medium high heat). Arrange zucchini on rimmed baking sheet; brush all over with oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Grill zucchini until tender, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to work surface; cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces. Place in large serving bowl. Add vinegar, mint, and crushed red pepper; set aside.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain. Add pasta to zucchini mixture, then add 3 T olive oil and ricotta salata and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
I served this will grilled asparagus tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper.