20 Minute Zucchini Pasta

20 Minute Zucchini Pasta
Recipe Type: Main Dish
This recipe is similar to the last one in timing, although the squash takes a little longer to cook than the tomatoes. Follow the same directions for cooking the pasta; that part is omitted in this recipe.
Ingredients
  • 3-4 small to medium-sized zucchini
  • 2 cloves or garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated cheese (Parmigiano reggiano, Grana padano, or ricotta salada)
Instructions
  1. Slice the zucchini lengthwise and then into very thin half-moon slices. Alternately, you can slice into quarters lengthwise then slice into a small dice crosswise if you prefer a squared shape.
  2. Chop the garlic into a very fine dice.
  3. While your pasta water is heating up, heat several tablespoons olive oil to a large saucepan and then add the garlic; once again, cook to a mere golden-brown (you don’t want a ‘fried garlic’ smell, just a hint of garlic).
  4. When the garlic is golden add the zucchini and toss in the oil to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan (you may wish to add another tablespoon of oil). Cook the zucchini on medium heat until soft and barely golden; you don’t want end up with hard-fried zucchini. This process removes the water from the zucchini gently, leaving the vegetable soft and silky in texture with a nice squash flavor, rather than a fried flavor. Cooking the zucchini in this manner will probably take about 15 minutes. Stir frequently so that the squash doesn’t stick to the pan. In fact, if it is sticking to the pan the heat is probably too high; at a low temp the water is released gently, keeping the squash from sticking to your saucepan.
  5. While the zucchini is cooking, boil and drain your pasta as in the recipe above.
  6. Immediately dump the pasta into the zucchini sauce, then add a generous amount of grated cheese and toss to coat uniformly. You may want to add some pasta water or olive oil to moisten, if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!
  7. Note: if you want you can add fresh herbs to this dish. You would add them at the very end, as in the Tomato and Basil recipe. Basil would be perfect, as would oregano, summer savory, marjoram, mint etc. Fresh herbs would probably be best because the flavor of zucchini is quite delicate and dried herbs might overpower the dish.
  8. This recipe serves two people for a main-course pasta dish and can easily be doubled or tripled for more.