Penne With Roasted Vegetables and Prosciutto — The Weekender

By: Marisa McClellan
Related To:
penne with roasted vegetables the weekender

My parents are avid vegetable and herb gardeners. My dad is responsible for digging, planting and watering, while my mom tackles the harvesting, cooking and preserving. It’s a fairly equitable division of labor for most of the season. The only time my mom complains about her end of the bargain is when the garden begins belching forth many pounds of zucchini, yellow crookneck squash and flying saucer-shaped pattypans.

Whether you’re a home gardener, CSA member or a regular farmers’ market shopper, keeping up with the flow of summer squash during its high season can easily become a full-time cooking job. I find that I am constantly looking for ways to cook it down, use it up and transform it from a rapidly reproducing raw ingredient into breakfast, lunch and dinner options.

To that end, I grate it into baked goods, cook it down into sandwich spreads and puree it into soup with tomatoes, eggplant, onions and plenty of Parmesan cheese. I also like to grill or roast it into submission and then toss it into pasta salads. Topped with a bit of cold chicken or crumbled feta, it makes for an easy dinner or potluck contribution.

Lately my favorite version of summer squash pasta salad is one from Giada De Laurentiis. Penne With Roasted Vegetables and Prosciutto heavily features both zucchini and yellow squash. Dressed with a puckery vinaigrette, Parmesan cheese and some thinly sliced prosciutto, it is zippy and quite light. It’s my new favorite Weekender (and would make an excellent contribution to a Fourth of July cookout next week).

roasted zucchini

Before you heat your pasta water, here are a few things you should know:

- The recipe calls for approximately 12 ounces of both zucchini and yellow squash. Because I had so much, I used more than a pound of each and was very happy with the results.

- I found that I had better results if I roasted the vegetables in batches. I did the squash in the first round and the cauliflower and carrots in the second.

- This is one of those recipes that could be made ahead and then combined just before serving. If you’re planning on traveling with it, pack all the components separately and toss just prior to eating.

- Make sure to make enough for leftovers. The pasta will soften slightly in the fridge overnight, but the flavors are good enough to make up for it.

Marisa McClellan is a food writer and canning teacher who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her food (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first cookbook, called Food in Jars: Canning in Small Batches Year Round,  is now available.

Get your Summer party started right with a full weekend lineup of Food Network chef’s seasonal tips. With premiere episodes from Barefoot Contessa, BBQ Addiction with Bobby Flay, Giada at Home, Mexican Made Easy, Paula’s Best Dishes and Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen.

Next Up

Cheesy Spinach Baked Penne — Most Popular Pin of the Week

A mixture of low-fat cheeses lightens up this flavorful pasta. Use frozen spinach for a convenient vegetable add-in.

Penne with Butternut Squash to Help You Prepare for Fall — Most Popular Pin of the Week

Bridge the gap between summer and fall with Food Network Magazine's quick-fix pasta dinner.

Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese — Meatless Monday

Giada opts for mushrooms in place of traditional ground meat to bulk up her fuss-free Bolognese sauce.

Pasta with Corn and Kale — Meatless Monday

Try Food Network Magazine's Pasta with Corn and Kale for a fresh, seasonal summer recipe for Meatless Monday dinner.

Pasta Primavera with Beets, Radishes and Radicchio — Meatless Monday

Celebrate spring with this colorful, produce-packed pasta.

Finish Pasta in the Sauce

Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford: Drain your pasta when it's just al dente, then cook it for a minute or two more in a skillet with the sauce.

Grilled Lasagna — Meatless Monday

Food Network Magazine's Grilled Lasagna is an easy-to-prepare meatless meal that can be made quickly on the grill.