Week 11 – Late Summer Pasta

Another week.  This one was a doozy.  Like flashbacks to busy seasons in the Chicago office, doozy.  Ever since moving here I’ve said how much better it is than the craziness of my old office.  And it still is.  But this weekend is not something I’d like to repeat.

So moving on…highlights of the week:

1. Our church kicked off small groups for the fall this week!  Our small group meets in some form year-round, but the official kick off usually brings some new people in, which is always exciting.  We’ve really been blessed to find a church with such great people in DC.  And as different as it is being in a small group that isn’t located in the same neighborhood as where we live and where our church is (Chicago spoiled me with my living proximity to church), I like that the fact that we’re the “Northern Virginia” group.  It means we’re a little more spread out, but it makes every get together intentional.

2. I got to play with a puppy!  I usually work from home on the weekends, but when there’s a deadline on Monday you don’t always get that luxury.  So into the office I went, and to my luck one of my coworkers brought in his puppy to hang out while we worked!  This is Niko, he’s super playful and nips a lot:

photo 1

3. Experiencing Matt’s Birthday Present!  Matt’s birthday present was a ticket to the Yankees-Orioles game in Baltimore on September 14.  The game was special because it was Jeter’s last game in Baltimore.  And for those of you who don’t follow, a lot of the stadiums are doing something special for Jeter for his last game there.  Baltimore had some cool gifts –  bunch of crab, a big cake shaped and decorated like his jersey, someone from the navy presented him with a Captain’s hat, and they donated $10K to a charity in his name.  And before the game they also had the navy seal leap frogs (parachuters) do a thing.  That was pretty sweet to see.  Some pictures from the night:

photo 4 (1) photo (3) photo 3 (1)

photo 2 (1)

So the new recipe from the night was technically not made during week 11.  I made it tonight after leaving work by 6:00 for the first time in who knows when.  But it’s delicious and I’m going to let it count for week 11.  I made up the name and adapted this recipe.  And it was extra fun because we got to use Matt’s fancy hand cheese grater for freshly grated parm on top!

Late Summer Pasta

1 pound orecchiette or small shells
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, sliced thin
2-3 medium green zucchini, ends trimmed
2 ears corn, kernels cut from the cobs, juices and all
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons roughly chopped or torn basil
Olive oil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Optional: Grilled Chicken, cut into strips

1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, add some olive oil, the minced garlic cloves, and thinly sliced shallot in a medium pan, cook until fragrant.
2. Grate the zucchini on a box grater. Gather the gratings in a bowl and salt the squash. Toss to mix.
3. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta but don’t shake it; you want a little pasta water to help create a “sauce.” Pour it back in the pot.
4. Add the zucchini to the pan with the garlic and shallot. Cook until the water as cooked off – I drained the liquid mid cooking.
5. Add the corn to the pan and cook a little longer (see picture below for how it looked before I moved on to the next step).
6. Add the veggies to the pot with the cooked, drained pasta. Drizzle on some olive oil. Toss the pasta. Adjust the seasoning, adding more salt if needed. Also add a couple shakes of red pepper flakes and the basil. Toss again. Spoon into shallow bowls and top with grated, cheese, but not too much.
7. Top with grilled chicken strips and enjoy!

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