Pasta with Summer Squashes, Herbs, and Honey
Any summer squashes may be used. Squash blossoms (available at farmers' markets) can be chopped and tossed in.
- 4 ounces haricots verts and yellow wax beans (or a mix of other fresh beans), trimmed and halved crosswise
- Coarse salt, preferably sea salt
- 1 pound short, tubular pasta, such as mezze maniche, rigatoni, or penne
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/2 cup whole raw almonds
- 1 pound mixed summer squashes, such as zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, and patty pan, quartered if large
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 2 jalapeno chiles, ribs and seeds removed if desired, finely chopped
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- 4 squash blossoms, petals only, coarsely chopped (optional)
Cook beans in a large pot of salted boiling water until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a wire-mesh skimmer, transfer beans to a large bowl, reserving water in pot. Add pasta to boiling water, and cook until al dente. Drain, and add to beans. Stir in 2 tablespoons oil.
Toast almonds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, shaking occasionally, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, and chop. Add to pasta mixture. Return skillet to medium-high heat, and add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and squashes. Cook until squashes are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Stir, and continue to cook, turning occasionally, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes more. Add to pasta mixture.
Return skillet to medium heat, and add honey. Bring to a simmer and stir. Add vinegar and jalapenos. Cook until mixture is reduced by half but still slightly runny, about 1 minute. Pour over pasta mixture, and toss. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with oil. Stir in mint, cilantro, and thyme, and squash blossoms if desired. Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 4 hours and serve at room temperature.