cooking · Dinner · Family

Summer Pasta – Light and Lemony

We had a pretty evening yesterday with a cool day overall. Perfect for working in the garden with my boys. Walker and I harvested the first ripe blueberries, little ones off my subalpine bushes, the berries are very small in comparison to regular berries. But quite tasty, as little berries are often found to be. Our regular blueberries are 2 to 4 weeks away from being ripe so this kept Walker happy!

We checked our Red Huckleberry plants and 3 of the berries were ripe, Walker was impatiently waiting for me to hand them over!

Last year I had found a Stevia plant but it didn’t fare well over the winter and died. I found a new plant in the spring and so far it is healthier and doing better than the previous one. Its flowers are tiny and quite pretty:

When we bought our house the backyard was intense, the previous owner was a bulb and shrub lover. I have pulled out quite a few of the plants in the past near 8 years but a few hang on – such as the very pretty lilies that bloom in June.

Walker having a great time “sawing” at the retaining wall:

For dinner a light meal sounded perfect. This dish takes only the time to boil water to bring together and tastes much richer than it really is. Make sure the yogurt you use is real and isn’t thickened with questionable stabilizers. In this case full fat yogurt is preferable.

A secret of mine in saving money on quality cheese: buy the rind ends! Usually I buy wedges of Pecorino Romano from Costco. Being a sheep milk cheese it cost a lot less than Parmigiano Reggiano. A lot less. Like nearly half per pound! But sometimes I want the flavor that only a good Parmigiano Reggiano gives. So I wander by the fancy cheese counter – which one of our local grocery stores has, with a cheese monger to boot. They take the ends and sell them in tubs at 50% off the pound price, selling them for use in soups. Well…if you have a tool like a Microplane 42102 Artisan Fine Grater, you can grate them up. Yes, you have to earn the cheese but you could be having top quality pillows of grated cheese for $6 to 8 a lb! And no added preservatives or fillers (remember my lecture about cellulose being added to American made Parmesan cheese? Yuck!) Even better….the store was running a deal on the cheese counter, a $3 coupon off any $3 or more purchase. I found a tub for $3.15. Heehee! Now that is saving money!

Spaghetti with Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes


  • 13.25 ounce package multi-grain spaghetti
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ lbs zucchini, trimmed, halved and cut into thin slices
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 10 ounces small grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced, about 3 Tbsp
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt and ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil, add spaghetti and cook for time on package. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high, add the oil and zucchini, sauté until tender and turning golden. Add garlic, sauté for a minute, add the tomatoes and let cook for 2 minutes, until they soften.

Mix the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl, add the hot vegetables and toss to coat. Add the spaghetti, toss gently. Add reserved pasta water as needed for a creamy sauce.

Serve with more cheese if desired.

Serves 4.


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