No recipes in two weeks! I have an excuse. Kid went to Washington. One dear friend lives in our nation’s capital, so another dear friend and I journeyed there for a mini college reunion. We ate cupcakes:

And saw columns topped with ears of new world corn:

Back in LA, I am faced with a newly temperate spring–the heat broke while I was away and I feel that turning on the stove is once again a plausible thing to do. I’ve been wanting to share this recipe since we started the blog, but it seemed a little mean to type up a recipe featuring tomatoes and summer squash in the winter, even though I was making this well into December (we loves socal).

The spaetzle I use is made of spelt, and I suspect it is not widely available unless you live in Falmouth and can make a trip to Amber Waves. This is what it looks like:

I recommend seeking it out. It’s totally delicious. But you can also make your own spaetzle! I’ve never done this but you can!

When you use enough butter and olive oil, the fresh tomatoes and squash melt into a pretty luscious sauce, one that you’d be happy to eat on whatever pasta remainders are lurking in the back of your cabinet. But I think it’s most special on spaetzle.

Spaetzle and Patty Pans with Fresh Tomato Sauce
inspired by things i ate that i love
serves 4

I had no patty pans this time, so I used regular yellow squash. Obviously you can use zucchini if you like; I prefer the red/yellow color combo to red/green but use what you have. You want roughly the same amount of tomatoes and squash.

2 T butter
2 T olive oil, divided
one small onion, chopped
4-5 yellow patty pans (or 2-3 yellow squash)
4-5 tomatoes
1/2 lb. egg spaetzle
1/2 C grated parmesan or pecorino, plus more for serving
kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and 1 T olive oil. Add the onions and a big pinch of kosher salt and saute until translucent. While the onions cook, slice up your squash. If you’re using regular yellow squash, half them the long way and then slice them into half coins that are about a quarter inch thick. If you’re using patty pans, just slice them into whatever size you like–they don’t slice up as uniformly but they’re cute so I forgive them.

When the onions are soft, add the squash and another big pinch of kosher salt. Grind some pepper over the onions and squash and saute for few minutes. Meanwhile, dice up the tomatoes into rough one-inch cubes. Add them, skins and seeds and all, to the skillet and stir to combine. (If your farmers’ market sells ugly dented tomatoes, buy them! This is what they’re for.) Salt and pepper the sauce one more time and and turn the heat to high. As the tomatoes cook they’ll release some water, at which point you can turn the heat to medium, let the sauce simmer, and pay attention to the spaetzle.

Dump the spaetzle into the salted boiling water and cook according to the package directions. Drain, and add to the sauce when most of the tomato water has boiled off and the tomatoes have started to disintegrate. Toss together with the remaining 1 T of olive oil and grated cheese. Stir and serve immediately with more cheese and maybe a little fresh basil sprinkled on top.

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