I have a long story for you. But first let’s start with pasta. Because pasta is a gift from the gods and it makes everyone feel happy. Especially when it’s rigatoni and we mix it with fresh summer vegetables like ripe sweet corn, zucchini, yellow squash, and basil. (Or whatever summer veggies you like best.) And especially when our rigatoni-veggie medley is tossed in creamy, “cheesy,” two-ingredient sauce that defies all non-dairy logic.
Pasta like this even makes dogs happy – and I know that for a fact because I spoiled Scout with a few bites of this to butter her up for a trip to the vet. If you’re in the “never feed table food to dogs” camp, we can’t be friends.
Scout had a big day coming up – that’s why she got special privileges. She got fixed. It’s a routine procedure, I know. But dropping her off this morning was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. The last time I left a dog at the vet was when I said goodbye to Maggie 2 summers ago. She came home with us, but she was wrapped in a blanket and we buried her in the special wooden box that Clark made for her. She was a part of our family for most of my life.
When dogs go, they take a piece of you with them. I said I would never get another dog after Maggie. But Scout had other plans for us.
We met her last September, one night after closing up the bowling alley. My brother showed up with this adorable nugget of a dog and we unlocked the front doors to let them in. One of his roommates was supposed to take the dog – but after a couple of days, she decided she couldn’t handle it. So she was supposed to be put on Craigslist to find a new home.
Clark and I had absolutely no intention of getting a dog – it’s a huge responsibility and we were also still living with my parents at the time. If you had met her that night, you would understand. She is the master of puppy dog eyes. When we heard her story and thought about what possible fate awaited her, we had no choice. At least not in my mind.
We didn’t think we needed a dog at the time – we just thought she needed us. How naive.
After that night, our adventure in dog parenthood began. We picked a new name for her because “Blue” just didn’t fit. We learned how to potty train. We taught her to play frisbee. We’ve gone on so many long walks, some peaceful, some spent chasing squirrels. We’ve watched her face her fears (water hoses and plastic bags 🙄) and fearlessly climb huge rocks when we go hiking. She rode across the country with us to move to a new home. She’s a one-of-a-kind dog and she landed right where she belongs.
It’s funny to me – we met Scout in the bowling alley, which is where Clark and I first met too.
Right now, she’s restlessly sprawled across our bed. Taking up more space than you would ever imagine a 17-pound dog could do. She doesn’t want me to pet her and she doesn’t want to cuddle – she’s too mad at me for that – but she also refuses to let me out of her sight. I have things to do in the kitchen and laundry to finish and I’d like to cook some dinner. But the only place Scout wants to be is on the bed and if I leave the room, she’ll try to jump down and follow me.
I’ll take her advice. I’ll slow down for now. I’ll keep her company and keep my distance.
Besides, that’s what leftovers are for. And this dish is just as good heated back up as it was when we made it two nights ago.
BONUS – We made a quick video for this recipe to show you just how easy it is. 👍👍 Is there anything better than a simple pasta recipe? Nopenopenope nothing compares!
This post is dedicated to Maggie and Chloe – Clark’s childhood weiner dog. She just passed away last weekend. We made a donation to the National Mill Dog Rescue in their honor because all dogs deserve to be loved and spoiled.
- Serves: 4
- Serving size: 1
- Calories: 335
- Fat: 20 g
- Carbohydrates: 35 g
- Sugar: 4 g
- Sodium: 500 mg
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 11 g
- 2 cups rigatoni pasta
- 2-4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ear sweet corn
- 1 cup zucchini
- 1 cup yellow squash
- 1 can whole coconut milk
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- Basil for garnish
- Thoroughly shake your can of coconut milk to ensure that it is well-combined.
- In a medium bowl, combine coconut milk and nutritional yeast. Whisk together and set aside.
- In a large skillet, add oil and onions. Bring to medium heat and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and sweet corn and saute for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, this is a good time to get your water boiling and cook your pasta while the other ingredients are cooking.
- Add zucchini, yellow squash, and soy sauce to the skillet. Saute everything together for 5 minutes and then pour in the sauce mixture.
- Once the pasta is al dente, drain it and add it into the skillet.
- Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken as it cooks down.
- Serve and garnish with fresh basil.