Sometimes the simplest recipes truly are the best. This is a pasta that I often make on weeknights, and while it is simple, it's so good that I felt that I had to share it. It only takes a few ingredients, and it's absolutely delicious, particularly in the summer when tomatoes and zucchini are at their peak in flavor. Feel free to substitute whatever type of pasta that you like, but we especially like this with flat, wide pappardelle noodles. I use the technique here of making the zucchini look like pasta, which enables me to use 1/2 of the pasta that I normally would and get some more vegetables in. It's actually very easy to create these thin strips of zucchini with a vegetable peeler. Hold the zucchini upright first, pressing into it somewhat firmly to make the strips as you run the peeler down the zucchini. As you work farther into it, lay the zucchini flat and continue to run the peeler down the zucchini. I had heard of this technique before and was skeptical, but it actually is easy!
Cherry Tomato and Zucchini Pappardelle
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
8 oz. pappardelle or long pasta of your choice (fettucini would work)
2 medium zucchini (~1 lb.), ends trimmed off and sliced into thin strips using a vegetable peeler
2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 c. dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)
Extra virgin olive oil
Whole milk ricotta cheese, for serving
Fresh basil, cut into thin strips (chiffonade), for serving
Cook the pasta according to package directions, making sure to salt the pasta water before adding the pasta. Meanwhile, heat 2 T. olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and saute about 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes, a pinch of salt, and cook for about 5 minutes, until tomatoes start to soften. Add the white wine, some freshly ground black pepper, and cook another 1-2 minutes.
About 1-2 minutes before the pasta is done, add the zucchini to the pasta pot. Drain, and add to the pan with the tomatoes. Stir well to coat the pasta/zucchini with the tomato mixture, and add additional salt and pepper to taste. Divide into pasta bowls, garnish with a dollop of ricotta and a sprinkling of basil, and serve.