Spaghetti with Spicy Summer Squash and White Beans


I’m not a huge fan of Mario Batali, but my husband and I received a “bonus” wedding present from a friend of ours, who bought us some things on our registry related to bread dipping and slightly fine dining, along with some dipping oils and a cookbook. The oils and cookbook are the bonuses I speak of (which, by the way, if you’re buying a wedding present in the future, I totally think this is a great way to approach giving a gift people want, and coupling it with some individuality and creativity on your part). So, anyhow, the cookbook is Mario Batali’s Simple Family Meals, and it’s kind of wonderfully divided up by month, so you’re also theoretically cooking in season. The recipe I just made yesterday was part of the July section, but I think it’s close enough. The recipe was supposed to be Bucatini with Spicy Summer Squash and White Beans. Us not being hugely into pasta and also not being Italian, we didn’t have bucatini laying around, so I went with our thin spaghetti. It worked like a dream. And I have to say, I think this was way more delicious than I expected. Here, I was just looking for recipes to help us use up some of the multitudes of summer squash we have in the crisper drawer, and I ended up with a delicious meal. Not bad.

Adapted from Molto Batali, by Mario Batali
Serves: 5 as a Main Course

1/8 c plus 1/8 c extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Tb hot red pepper flakes
3/4 lb yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2 inch thick coins
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
8 oz cannellini or white navy beans, drained and rinsed (half a can)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb thin spaghetti pasta
1/2 cup fresh seasoned breadcrumbs, toasted
1 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
1 tsp oil

1.) Boil water in a pasta pot.
2.) Add whole grape tomatoes to a baking dish. Spray lightly with about 1 teaspoon of oil and move tomatoes around to ensure they are lightly coated. Pop dish into a 400 degree oven and cook for the duration of the pasta dish.
2.) While water is heating, heat 1/8 cup oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the red pepper flakes and just enough squash coins to cover the bottom of the pain in one layer. Cook, without moving squash, until golden brown on the bottom, about 8-10 minutes. To aid with cooking all the way through, cover pan about half way through cooking. Transfer squash to a plate. Repeat until all squash is cooked. (I used a big pan and mine only took 1 round.)
3.) Add remaining oil and garlic to the saute pan and cook over medium heat until garlic is light brown, about 2 minutes. Add the beans and simmer for 5 minutes, until warmed through. Add the cooked squash, season with salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat and set aside.
4.) Add salt to the boiling water. Drop pasta into the water and cook for 1 minute less than package instructions indicate. Just before done, ladle 1 ladle full of the pasta water into the squash mixture.
6.) In a small skillet, toast breadcrumbs over medium heat for about 2 minutes, moving the breadcrumbs to keep from burning.
5.) Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Toss over medium heat for about 30 seconds, until the pasta is nicely coated.
6.) Pull tomatoes out of the oven and add to a small serving dish. Serve pasta immediately, with breadcrumbs and roasted tomatoes on the side.

Note: I also had some parmesan ready to grate if need be, but it was totally unnecessary.

Weight Watchers Points: 10



Summer Vegetable Pasta with Kielbasa


This one I’m really proud of. It was incredibly delicious, made use of tons of random stuff we had on hand, and was a 100% original creation of my mind. I hope you love it as much as we did! Also, it made excellent leftovers for lunch at work the next day!

Note: You can totally get creative with this, and even leave out the kielbasa, but it really gives the sauce an incredible flavor. If you can get your hands on the Costco kielbasa links (they were recently sampling them at our Costco, and they were *so good* we had to get them), that’s what I used and it was amazing.

Summer Vegetable Pasta with Kielbasa

Summer Vegetable Pasta with Kielbasa

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins

Serves 4

4 cups whole wheat pasta (I used linguini)
1 clove garlic
1 Tb avocado oil
1 medium zucchini
1 medium summer squash
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
1 link kielbasa (ours is like large hot dog size, from Costco)
2 cups bottled pasta sauce
2 Tb heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, shredded

1.) Cook pasta according to instructions.
2.) Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic in a large skillet. Add whole grape tomatoes and cover, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
3.) Add zucchini and summer squash to skillet. Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally. Add kielbasa to skillet after a few minutes.
4.) Pour bottled pasta sauce over veggies and meat, stirring uncovered and continuing to cook to heat the sauce through. Add heavy whipping cream and stir to combine.
5.) Dish up pasta and sauce, then sprinkle with desired amount of cheese.

Nutrition: Unfortunately, since this was all in my head and I didn’t do the math, I don’t have the full nutrition facts.

Weight Watchers Points: 14 (Totally worth it!)

Fish & Vegetable Packet


This one was a tasty one involving fish and bunch of yummy early summer veggies, but I think some adaptations might make it even better.  I already adapted it a bit since it called for things like asparagus and peppers, which I didn’t have on hand.  I think you can really use whatever veggies you have available and maybe make this different every time.  As for fish, the original recipe calls for anything from salmon to roughy, cod, or tilapia.

Fish & Vegetable Packet

Fish & Vegetable Packet

(Adapted from the Better Homes & Gardens Gas Grill Cookbook)

Prep: 40 Minutes

Grill: 12 Minutes

Serves 2


Fish fillets, 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick

1 cup carrots, cut into thin strips

1 summer squash

1 zucchini

1 cup green beans

1/4 cup white wine

1 tsp fresh rosemary, crushed

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1 Tb butter or margarine, cut up

White Rice


1.) Thaw fish if frozen.  Rinse, pat dry with paper towels.

2.) Cut 4 18 x 18 inch pieces of heavy foil.  Place 2 sheets together to form 2 stacks.  Coat one side of each stack with cooking spray.  Divide veggies among stacks of foil.  Top with fish and squash.

3.) In small bowl, combine wine, rosemary, garlic, salt, and black pepper.  Drizzle over fish and veggies, dot with butter.  Bring 2 opposite edges of foil and seal with a double fold.  Enclose all sides, leaving space for steam to build.

4.) Preheat gas grill.  Reduce heat to medium.  Place foil packets on grill directly over heat.  Cover and grill until fish flakes easily with a fork and veggies are crisp-tender.  (Allow 12-14 minutes per 1/2 inch thickness of fish.  Serve with hot white (or brown) rice.


Nutrition: 518 cal; 22 g total fat (8g sat fat); 91 mg chol; 294 mg sodium; 43 g carb; 6 g fiber; 32 g protein.

Weight Watcher’s Points: 13 (based on counts above); 8 (based on 1/2 cup rice and other ingredient modifications