Pasta with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Zucchini

Is zucchini threatening to take over your summer garden? Michael Chiarello uses it to turn simple pasta into a delicious meal.

Adapted from The Tra Vigne Cookbook by Michael Chiarello with Penelope Wisner from Reader's Digest | August 2009

Pasta with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Zucchini Pasta with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Zucchini

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb. dried spaghettini
  • 3/4 lb. zucchini
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbs. coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    How to make it 

  • 1

    Bring large pot of water to boil; add salt. Add pasta. Cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.

  • 2

    While pasta cooks, cut zucchini by hand into longest, finest julienne you can manage. Season with salt and pepper.

  • 3

    If zucchini is very finely cut, it does not need to be cooked. Otherwise, steam until still slightly crunchy, about 2 minutes.

  • 4

    Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in small skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add garlic. Sauté briefly, until light brown. Turn on exhaust fan, and add red pepper flakes. Quickly add basil and parsley; mix well. Remove from heat.

  • 5

    When pasta is done, drain, reserving about 1/2 cup cooking water. Pour pasta into warm serving bowl, add zucchini, remaining 1/4 cup oil, garlic mixture, and 1/2 cup cheese. Toss well, adding cooking water as needed to make smooth sauce. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tbs. cheese and serve at once.

Adapted from The Tra Vigne Cookbook by Michael Chiarello with Penelope Wisner (Chronicle Books)

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