meatless . #30 {tomato basil zucchini pasta}

Here’s the meatless meal for this week. So it’s Friday.  I was in Vegas earlier this week eating meat, chicken and seafood. Don’t judge.  There is nothing particularly spectacular or mind-blowing about the concept of this dish; it’s ingredients are simple; it’s preparation easy. But it is full of wonderful, fresh flavor you will make it over and over.  And that in and of itself makes it spectacular.  Trust me…it is super good. Usually I make this pasta with just the tomatoes and basil but the farmer’s market is full of beautiful zucchini right now.  Since it’s one of my favorite vegetables, I decided to throw it in.  Yum!  I’ve been a city girl for years and years now so many of my friends find it more than comical that I yearn for farm living.  Not to raise animals mind you {well, maybe a handful of chickens}, but to be out of the city and have more than a postage stamp sized piece of land where I could grow fruit trees and vegetables: tomatoes, peas, carrots, fennel, celery root and zucchini.  Then I’d have my own zucchini blossoms and not have to go from farmer’s market stand to farmer’s market stand only to not find them.  They should be around now…so if you spot them let me know.  I’m literally craving them…tempura battered + fried, stuffed…must have soon!
Tomato Basil Zucchini Pasta
serves 4
1 lb. dried spaghetti 
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
½ tsp. dried oregano
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup basil, thinly sliced
¼ cup parmesan, shaved or grated
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook spaghetti until al dente according to package instructions.
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-low heat; do not heat the oil so hot that it smokes.  Add the shallot and garlic; sauté for 1 minute.  Add zucchini and cook, stirring often, until just softened, about 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook to heat tomatoes; about 2 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in basil.
Drain spaghetti, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.  Add noodles to the vegetable mixture and gently toss.  Add some of the reserved pasta water if needed to moisten noodles.  Divide among four bowls and serve with parmesan sprinkled on top. 
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