If you’re part of a farm share, you’ve probably exhausted your supply of zucchini recipes by now. In the past two weeks, I’ve made several loaves of zucchini bread, creamy zucchini soup, zucchini pie and sauteed zucchini with garlic and parsley. Just when I was feeling smug that I’d used up all the cue-ball zucchini, yellow squash and green-skinned zucchini in my fridge, six more arrived in my bag. What’s a cook to do?
Arriving home later than expected and with little time to cook dinner, I opted for Noodles with Sauteed Zucchini. If ever there was a slam dunk meal — both for the kiddos, who love noodles, and for busy cooks — this is it. In the time it takes to boil the water and cook spaghetti you can put the whole thing together. As is the case with many of my recipes, what follows is part technique, part recipe, since the idea is to make use of the produce you have on hand. Adjust portion sizes accordingly.
Incidentally, for health reasons unrelated to anything Atkins, my husband isn’t supposed to eat carbohydrates. Whenever I serve noodles, he throws chicken or sausage (or whatever protein we have on hand) on the grill. Tonight it was chicken, and when it was done I cut some up and added it to my pasta. My four-year-old liked what he saw, but wanted the chicken “next to the noodles, not touching.” Seeing it on his plate underscored just how versatile this recipe really is. You can serve it as a main course, with a green salad and crusty bread. You can toss in some chicken for heartier fare. Or you can serve it alongside the protein of your choice as a side dish. Now that’s a slam dunk.
Pasta with Sauteed Zucchini
Put a large pot of salted water to boil. In a separate saute pan, gently color a few cloves of minced garlic in a hearty pour of olive oil. Take several zucchini (or a mixture of yellow squash and zucchini, for aesthetic purposes), quarter them lengthwise and slice them, and saute until tender. When the water boils, add whole wheat noodles and cook al dente. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the zucchini, then toss with a generous amount of parmesan cheese (a half-cup or more). If the pasta is too thick, thin with a few tablespoons of the cooking water, and season to taste. Serve with additional parmesan and lots of chopped basil.