If you’re on Kaufmann 1 and have seen the movie Chef without longing for any of the “forbidden” foods seen in the film, you’re a rare exception. One of the most tantalizing scenes highlights the main character preparing a dish common in the restaurant world and known as “Midnight Pasta.” Because it’s simple and quick to prepare, many chefs will often have this or prepare it for their staff after the dinner shift. The mouth-watering close-up Scarlett Johansson savoring this simple late night supper leaves most viewers drooling and dreaming of the days when we, too, could partake of a bowl of now off-limits pasta.
Well dream no more! If you have a spiralizer, you can make spaghetti from any summer squash that will definitely rival the real thing. Lacking this ingenius tool, you could just grate the squash, and the flavor will still be delicious, but the texture won’t be quite as believable. If you were ever a pasta lover, however, you might want to consider investing in one of these magical devices. Many traditional pasta dishes are Kaufmann 1 friendly when made with squash, and properly prepared, you might even be able to fool a few people!
For the “pasta:”
Spiralize or grate one medium summer squash (straight yellow squash works best) for each serving. Spread the “spaghetti” in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and salt liberally, about a teaspoon of salt for each serving. Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes.
Place the vegetables into a sieve or strainer and rinse under cold running water. Shake as much water off and then spread the “spaghetti” onto a double layer of paper towels. Roll up the vegetables inside the paper towels and squeeze to remove as much of the moisture as possible. Squash should be pretty dry.
For each serving:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of fresh garlic, thinly sliced (Don’t chop or mince or it will scorch!)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
a few twists of freshly ground pepper
generous pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ cup fresh chopped Italian parsley
¼ cup fresh chopped basil
In a sauteé pan large enough to hold all the squash you’re preparing, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic and cook slowly, just until garlic is golden brown, about 5-6 minutes.
Add the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and stir until the peppers are fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the dry squash to the pan and cook , tossing constantly with tongs, for 3-5 minutes, until cooked but still firm.
Add the herbs and toss to combine. Serve immediately.