Summer squash simmered with spaghetti sauce and a hunk of parmesan rind--easy, simple, summer side dish and another Fast from the Farm Share idea
In my house, having the dinner table filled with an assortment of side dishes is a rare occurrence saved for Big Meal Events like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. I love vegetable side dishes, though, so their absence on the table is entirely due to the hassle factor of preparing multiple courses and having everything ready simultaneously.
In reality, prepping a few more vegetable side dishes doesn't take that much work. It's more my perception of the effort involved, I think, or perhaps the extra dishes that I'll end up washing. I mean, when going to eat at family-style restaurants [I'm thinking Frankenmuth, Michigan and Lancaster, Pennsylvania] I'm presented with an array of 'heat-and-hold' or 'served cold' sides. Granted, there's probably a Hobart in the kitchen and multiple folks chopping and stirring . . .
My friend Felicia's mom was terrific at setting an everyday meal with a bunch of homegrown vegetable sides. I have fond memories of staying for dinner after an afternoon of studying and being treated to such delicious food--especially a stewed tomato and zucchini dish that, wow, more than 20 years later still has the power to make me drool.
I channeled those flavors in this side dish--simmered tomatoes, summer squash, and parmesan cheese. This side dish can hang out on a low burner for a good while, ready to grace the table when you're done with everything else. With only 3 ingredients (plus salt, pepper, and oil) it's easy to throw together. I made it by grilling the squash then combining with the spaghetti sauce on the stove, but sautéing the squash then adding the spaghetti sauce would also work great. Heck, if you felt like cranking up the oven you could roast the squash then toss it with the spaghetti sauce and bake it in the oven. Easy.
|My spaghetti sauce came from defrosting the fruit & vegetable freezer--into the blender, then done.|
Summer Squash in Spaghetti Sauce Side Dish
4 cups chopped summer squash (yellow squash, zucchini, patty pan), cooked how you like**
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 piece parmesan rind
To serve--grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Simmer for 20 minutes until flavors well blended, then turn heat to low, cover, and hold it until you're ready to eat. Remove parm rind before serving. Serve with parmesan cheese, and have salt and pepper available (I like it with a generous grind of pepper).
**To cook the squash--toss chunks in 2 Tablespoons olive oil, a generous pinch (½ teaspoon) each salt and pepper, and grill until softened and blackened. Or preheat the medium saucepan and a Tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat, add squash, stir to coat with fat, and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes until softened. Season with salt and pepper.