Basil Pesto with Sautéed Summer Squash & Sun Gold Pasta


We love to store extra pesto in ice cube trays, so we can use it as needed in perfect quantities for simple meals later in the season.

Pesto Sauce:
Two generous handfuls Basil, large stems removed
1-2 cloves Fresh Garlic
¼ cup grated Parmesan or other hard cheese
1/8 cup chopped Walnuts or Pine nuts
¼ cup Olive Oil
Salt and fresh ground Black Pepper, to taste

Additional Ingredients:
1 pound dry Whole Wheat Pasta, Penne or Spirals work well
2 tsp Butter
1 medium Fresh Onion, thinly sliced into rings
1-2 Summer Squash, sliced
½ pint Sun Gold Tomatoes, halved

Pesto can be made in a food processor, blender (that can handle a more solid mix), or with a sharp knife and a bit of patience. If using a machine, I like to first add the nuts, garlic, cheese, and olive oil and blend it into a paste before adding the basil. Then add the basil a bit at a time, perhaps adding more oil (or water) so it will blend smoothly. Pesto does oxidize and brown if not used fresh, so refrigerate and cover the sauce while you prepare the rest of this dish. Boil your pasta to al dente according to the instructions on the package. Meanwhile, sauté the fresh onion slices in butter, adding the summer squash rounds after the onions turn slightly translucent. Allow the squash to cook to your preferred tenderness. Combine the warm cooked pasta, sautéed vegetables, Sun Gold halves, and pesto sauce in a large bowl. The heat from the noodles will soften the tomatoes, but allow them to retain their sweet brightness. Stir gently to combine and evenly coat the pasta.