Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gemelli with Yellow Squash, Peas, and Basil

Gemelli with Yellow Squash, Peas, and Basil


Serves 4
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 ounces gemelli or other short pasta
  • 3 medium yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 2 minutes less than al dente. Add squash and peas; cook until squash is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta mixture, and return to pot.
  2. To mixture in pot, add butter, lemon juice, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup pasta water. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. If needed, add enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta. Stir in basil, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan; serve immediately.
From Everyday Food, July/August 2008

Read more at Gemelli with Yellow Squash, Peas, and Basil - Martha Stewart Recipes
*My oven has been broken the past few days...such is life, as they say.  Consequently, I'm limited to stove- top cooking.  That's fine with me (for a short while). Sometimes, it's nice to have an excuse to dine at Whole Foods as much as we have *giggles*.  However, after my mini vacation, I'm ready to get back to cooking!  Hopefully by tomorrow, I will have a brand new stove.  Since January, we have had to replace the dishwasher, and now more recently the stove.  It's funny how we take things for granted, isn't it?  It's not until they are gone, that we begin to think about how amazing they are (kinda like people too?). Food for thought.*

The gemelli with yellow squash, peas and basil was delicious.  It was probably the butter that did it, but the dish was perfectly balanced between carbs, veggies and a creamy lemon-buttery flavor.  To my absolute surprise, all the kids ate the meal, AND asked for more! This is definitely suggested as a kid friendly meal because if my picky eaters loved it, well then, I'm sure other little people would love it too! 

Ever want to know more about basil?  Me too! Since it's used as an ingredient in this dish, I decided to do a little more investigation.  It turns out that basil (Ocimum basilcum) is in the Lamiaceae family.  This means that it's in the mint family! Another interesting fact that I enjoy sharing with people is how to tell if a plant is in the mint family.  Simply take take the stem of a plant and twirl it in your fingers.  If it feels square, well then you have yourself a plant from the mint family.  Cool huh?

picture from

Basil is often used primarily in Italian cooking, but it's still widely used in Asian cuisine.  Many different species and hybrids exist, making it fun and versatile to use in the kitchen.  In my garden this year, I've planted some really interesting varieties of basil, such as Hairy Lemon Basil.  Sound tasty?  I would agree, except I hope that it's not too hairy.  I couldn't imagine pulling hair out of our food!  That's not tasty.

Native to Iran, India and parts of Asia, it is often used fresh as an ingredient, but it can also be soaked in water to make gelatinous drinks.  Not too sure about the drink part, but I think fresh basil is great!  It is important to note here that basil also has some important medicinal properties.  Basil has been found to be an antioxidant, have anticancer, antiviral and antimicrobial properties.  In India, it is often used to help treat diabetes, stress and asthma.  After finding out this information, I think I'm going to start incorporating basil into fresh salads more often.  Hope you have fun making this quick and simple dish at home.  ~Happy Cooking~
 Photo Gallery
For butter and milk, I love Horizon products.
The pot of water boiling...
The ingredients. I grew the yellow crookneck myself last year.  When making this, it felt great to be able to pull out the package of squash from our deep freezer. I know why my retro-role models enjoyed putting up food.  It feels so rewarding.
For those of you curious, this is what a gemelli noodle looks like.  When cooked al dente,  this is a tasty noodle with the perfect texture.
Simple, fast and easy...and does not require the use of an oven *smiles*
Here they are, ready to eat.  Hey, at least Gabriel decided to come to the table this time.
We always have fun at the table.
This is also a great finger food for little ones.  Sarah enjoyed picking out the assortment of things inside her bowl.
Jordan even went back for more (very rare).
For dessert, Sarah wanted fresh raspberries.  Here she is dancing around in her chair. 

~Dinner Was Served~


Anonymous said...

This is the first use of Gemelli pasta that I have seen. And this is the first addition of squash to a pasta recipe that I have seen. And, the peas are a nice touch too.

The make a pleasing presentation as well. But most of all, it was good to hear that the kids loved it and went for the veggies in it as well.

Anonymous said...

Hey, and Bennie likes it too!