Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Calabacitas con Queso

zucchini and summer squash
This dish is a family favorite. My mom and grandmother both used to make it for us and to this day their version is the best. I was craving calabacitas the other day but I did not have all the proper ingredients, but I came out with this version, which I have to say was very, very yummy. This is a great vegetarian dish as well, and it's the type of dish that tastes even better the next day.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 zucchini, cleaned and diced into cubes
  • 1 summer (yellow) squash, cleaned and diced into cubes
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup tomato-basil marinara pasta sauce (or your favorite marinara sauce)
  • Pinch of oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 oz. basil-herb feta, crumbled or chopped into small cubes (you can also use mozzarella, or queso fresco)

In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil and butter on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chopped zucchini, chopped summer squash and pinch of oregano to the pan. Toss with onions and garlic. Add a good pinch of salt and ground black pepper. Cover the pan and let it cook for about 5 to 8 minutes on low, or until zucchini and squash are almost tender.

Remove the cover and add the chopped tomato and toss again and let it cook for 2 more minutes, covered. Add the tomato-basil sauce; bring to a simmer, and let it cook for 4 to 6 minutes, uncovered.

Lastly, add the crumbled feta on top and cover the pan once again. You just want the cheese to heat through and melt a little. Let the calabacitas simmer for just two more minutes then remove from heat and serve. This is a great side dish, but my favorite way to eat it is piled high on top of steamed, white rice!

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