Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Zucchini Tomato Cream Pasta

{Image circa September 2009}

Today's zucchini recipe is one of my favorite vegetarian main dishes.


It might be veering on the naughty side of diet standards with the heavy cream and butter, oh, AND the cheese, but it's just too easy, versatile, inexpensive, and might I add insanely, dizzingly good, to resist. Julia Child once said, "if you're scared of butter, use cream". Well, I use BOTH and I'm not scared of either. What's a little lard???

So, this dish was featured on my blog back in the 2009 days, but I made it again last night and added fresh spinach to the mix just before adding the drained al dente pasta. The spinach was a happy addition and made me feel a bit more justified in eating pasta soaked in butter and cream.
And although this recipe may appear a little austere from the outside, make it, and you'll be so very surprised at the flavor powerhouse this dish is, thanks be to the garlic, onion, basil, and cheese.

I might have to make it again today.

Penne with Zucchini Cream

½ lb penne pasta, cooked according to package directions

2 medium zucchini, diced

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp butter

1 cup whipping cream

½ cup milk

2 roma tomatoes, inside flesh removed, and diced

1 large handful of fresh basil, chopped

1/2-3/4 cup freshly grated Parm. cheese

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter. To the heated butter (don't let it brown or burn), add the onion and a couple minutes later, add garlic. Add the zucchini and saute for a couple more minutes until the onion is translucent and the zucchini is tender. Add whipping cream and milk, and let simmer for one minute- it should thicken slightly.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente, according to directions on box. Drain the pasta but reserve a spoonful or two of the pasta water- add this and the drained pasta to the zucchini/cream mixture. Stir in the chopped tomatoes (and spinach if using), and continue to allow this to simmer rapidly for a few minutes until it’s all incorporated. Add the cheese and basil, stir, and serve HOT.

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