California Central Coast Recipes

Gardeners Pasta

Gardeners Pasta uses golden squash, diced red pepper, onion and fresh marjoram with pasta shells. Now that it's August, the squash is in ts prime and these beauties are as good as they look. This recipe, too is pretty straight forward --and very quick! In the time it takes to boil the pasta water and cook it, you can have the rest of the ingredients cooked to perfection. The trick to this recipe's great flavor is to NOT over-cook it. Start by sauteing a little white onion in extra-virgin olive oil until softened, add in the diced red pepper, the thinly sliced golden squash coins, some chopped fresh marjoram and salt and pepper to taste and add a tad of chopped Italian parsley, then toss with pasta shells.- Topped with some grated Parmesan cheese and a glass of wine and you're all set for a great meal. ©2017, Gardeners Pasta
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


3 to 4 Tablespoons Extra virgin Olive Oil
1 cup White onion , peeled and diced
1 cup Red Pepper rinsed, seeds removed and diced
1-1/2 pounds Golden Squash , rinsed and sliced into small "coins"
1 Tablespoons Fresh Marjoram rinsed and chopped
1 Tablespoons Italian Parsley , rinsed and chopped

6 Ounces Pasta shells
Parmesan Cheese , grated for topping off the pasta

Preparation Directions.

1 Add hot water to a large pasta pot and bring to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt and get ready to add pasta.

2 On another burner, add olive oil to a large dutch oven and heat until hot. Add the diced onion and saute until softened.

3 Add in the diced red pepper and saute until softened.

4 Wash and dry the yellow squash. Cut into 1/4 inch rounds. (If using large squash, first cut lengthwise before cutting into half-rounds.) Add the squash to the sauce pot and cook until lightly golden but it should still has a nice crunch.

5 If the mixture seems dry, add a little more Olive oil and stir to distribute.

6 Add in the salt and pepper to taste and gently stir to distribute. Add in the fresh marjoram and toss well. Correct seasoning to personal taste.

7 Just before removing from heat, add in a little fresh Italian parsley for color and fresh taste.

8 In the meantime, on another burner, your pasta should be cooking according to package directions. Cook the pasta until the pasta is al dente, drain and add the pasta to the large pan with the sauce. Toss gently but thoroughly to distribute sauce ingredients throughout the pasta.

9 Serve on dinner plates and of Parmesan for grating at the table.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

This is such a delicious sauce! You can be traditional and serve a young Sangiovese or Chianti with this Italian “mama-style" dish or a chilled fresh dry white like a Roussane or Vigonier would work well too!

A tip from Sue!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds when you get through with a brick of Parmesan cheese! They can be used to flavor soups deliciously. Store them in the freezer in a plastic bag, and use as needed.

The Parmesan rinds give unbelievable flavor and soul to soups and will turn a bowl of soup into an "entree" worthy of any guest. I generally use about two ounces of Parmesan cheese rinds to a stockpot of soup. Add them in after you've added the liquid and let them cook along with the rest of your soup's ingredients. You won't be sorry!

read more:
Tuscan-Style White Bean Soup with Parmesan Cheese Rind