Light and fresh summer pasta with squash blossoms, string beans, goat cheese and plenty of summer herbs. A quick easy recipe with summer’s best ingredients.
This was a risky one: the husband was skeptical about the veg-heavy dinner and there was no telling how the kids would react when I placed a bowl of beloved spaghetti in front of them that was mixed with string beans, herbs and flowers!?! But I took a chance. And it paid off. I’ve never seen Eclair eat string beans so fast. And Jeff loved the addition of goat cheese and a serving of sauteed shrimp. Happy mommy night in my house.
This one was the result of my inability to resist pretty ingredients. I spotted the squash blossoms at my local farmer’s market and had to have them. Then yesterday, I headed to Dreyer Farms for my weekly CSA share and behind the table where they give out the shares, there was a gorgeous display of fresh beans: green, wax, purple, dragon tongue, and Italian green. I bought some of each, but only the green and wax made it into this recipe.
This dish can be made in the time it takes a pot of water to boil. And it’s drop-dead gorgeous and tastes like a big bowl of summer. If you need to add protein to satisfy an appetite like my husband’s, add a side of shrimp or some sauteed chicken. He even commented that the dish would be delicious as a side with grilled steak (though he may think anything would be a good side with steak!) I adapted it from Food and Wine, and I have to say the goat cheese makes it amazing. This goes on the list of favorite summer pasta recipes, along with my angel hair with shrimp and feta.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 9 squash blossoms, stems and pistils removed and petals finely chopped (1/2 cup), plus whole petals for garnish
- 4 ounces green beans, trimmed
- 4 ounces wax beans, trimmed
- ½ pound spaghetti
- 2 Tbsp. chopped chives
- 2 Tbsp. chopped basil leaves, plus small leaves for garnish
- ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water comes to a boil, mix together the chopped squash blossoms and butter.
- Blanch the beans for about 3 minutes. Drain and immediately rinse under cold water. When cool enough to handle, slice them thinly on a diagonal.
- Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions.
- While the pasta cooks, heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the butter. When the pasta is al dente, add it to the pan along with 1 cup of the cooking liquid and the beans. Bring to a boil and add the chopped basil, chives, lemon zest and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt.
- Divide among 4 serving dishes and top with squash blossom petals, basil leaves and crumbled goat cheese.