Squashta & Zucchini Cake

What’s squashta, you ask? My summer squash pasta, an easy throw together dish studded with caramelized summer veggies and richened with tangy, creamy goat cheese. I’m up to my ears in squash due to overzealous shopping at the Farmer’s market and a very generous friend who had a bumper crop of yellow squash this year.

Small, sweet zucchini, crookneck, or pattypan squash are awesome for sautéing and roasting. Bigger ones are great for throwing on the grill in slices or cutting into big chunks to thread on kabobs. Those overgrown, seedy guys? Grate them into giant piles of squash pulp, perfect for binding fritters or moistening up baked goods like my classic chocolate layer cake, below.

Don’t let any of this summer’s squash go to waste. I’m always sad when the season’s over and I don’t have a counter full of baseball bat-sized zucchini taunting me every day to bake zucchini chocolate chip bread.

Roasted Tomato, Squash, & Goat Cheese Pasta

IMG_8811

  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 shallot or 4 scallion whites, minced
  • 3 small yellow squash, sliced
  • 3 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 lb rotini pasta
  • 2 tbsp basil, chiffonade
  • 5 oz goat cheese, sliced or crumbled

Toss the tomatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper, and oregano. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and blister the tomatoes until they are caramelized and bursting open.

Heat remaining oil in a sauté pan and sauté the shallot or scallion whites. Add the squash and zucchini, in batches, and sauté until nicely caramelized.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain.

In a large bowl, combine the hot, cooked pasta, blistered tomatoes, caramelized squash, basil, and goat cheese. If needed, add a bit of the hot pasta water to help create a light sauce. Season well with salt and pepper.

Zucchini Chocolate Cake

IMG_8817

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups grated zucchini

Prepare three 8-inch baking pans by greasing and lining with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter with the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. Add the dry ingredients and blend to form a batter. Stir in the grated zucchini and divide the batter evenly among the 3 pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Stir together cocoa and powdered sugar. Beat the butter and add the sugar cocoa mixture, followed by the milk and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Once the cake layers are completely cool, spread with frosting and stack.