3/4 lb. small yellow and green summer squash
3/4 lb. green beans, topped and tailed, and snapped into 2-inch lengths
1 lb. dried pasta such as penne, ziti, fusilli, or farfalle
About 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, slivered or minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1-1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 cup lemon basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
About 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably armigiano Reggiano
In the summer, I want food that’s simple, quick, easy, and light. This recipe has all these attributes.
Bring to a boil an abundant amount of water in a large, nonreactive pot. Cut the squash into julienne, about 3⁄8 inch x 3⁄8 inch x 2-inch pieces.
When the water comes to a boil, salt it lightly and blanch the beans for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are just cooked. Remove them to a colander, rinse them under cold running water for a minute, and leave them to drain.
Return the water to a boil and add the pasta to cook, stirring occasionally.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the squash and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes more. Remove the lid, stir in the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. The squash should be tender yet still firm. Season generously with salt and pepper, toss in the beans, and stir well.
When the pasta is al dente, drain it, reserving 1⁄2 cup of the water. Add the pasta and the reserved water to the vegetables. Pour the lemon juice overall, add a drizzle of olive oil, the basil, and 1⁄2 cup of the Parmesan. Toss well and taste for seasoning; adjust with salt, pepper, or lemon juice. Serve hot, garnished with a sprinkle of the remaining Parmesan and a lemon basil sprig.