Pasta with sautéed zucchini and garlic is my very favorite simple, quick and satisfying Italian dish. I first tasted it at Ristorante “The Garden” while vacationing in Sorrento, Italy and have re-created a near-facsimile here at home.  Of course, nothing I do here compares to real Italian food from Italy since the quality of their ingredients are always far superior (veggies right out of the garden, farm-to-table, ocean-to-table) to ours here in the US.

Rather than state exact measurements, let me just explain how to make this dish for one person. Yes, I’m cooking for one now — in the midst of COVID-19 Coronavirus isolation.

First, put on a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta and gather the following ingredients:

1/4 lb. of long pasta (linguini, spaghetti, etc.)
1 medium-sized zucchini squash
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large clove of garlic
salt and black pepper
Grated Italian Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

While the pasta water comes to a boil, grate all but about two inches of the zucchini on a box grater (don’t use the fine holes side, use the bigger holes side).  Thinly slice the remaining two inch piece of zucchini.  Slice the garlic clove thinly.  In a large skillet, heat enough olive oil to liberally cover the bottom of the pan over medium-high heat and sauté the sliced garlic briefly to barely get some color, then add the zucchini shreds and slices.  Sauté the zucchini and garlic a few more minutes, reducing the heat to keep it from browning.  IMPORTANT:  Do not burn the garlic and do not brown the zucchini, or they will become bitter.  Add a little hot pasta water to the skillet to prevent burning and browning.  Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt and pepper.  Add a little of the hot pasta water if it seems too dry — and add a little more olive oil if needed.  You’re trying to build a light sauce here, flavored by the zucchini and garlic.  Turn the heat down low and let it  simmer while the pasta cooks.  When the pasta is al-dente, fish it out with tongs and drop it right into the skillet with the zucchini and garlic.  Toss well — the starch from the pasta will thicken up the sauce.  Take the pan off the heat and sprinkle with grated Italian Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.  Toss again to incorporate the cheese.  Serve immediately with more grated cheese and a sprinkle of black pepper on top.

Serves 1.

Pasta With Sauteed Zucchini And Garlic

Pasta With Sautéed Zucchini And Garlic For One

An Italian Classic
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 person
Calories 500 kcal

Equipment

  • Box grater
  • Knife
  • Large pot
  • Large skillet
  • Tongs
  • Ladle
  • Slotted spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 lb Long pasta spaghetti or linguini
  • 1 ea zucchini squash medium size
  • Extra virgin olive oil enough to cover bottom of skillet liberally
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and black pepper
  • Grated Italian Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Instructions
 

  • While the pasta water comes to a boil, grate all but about two inches of the zucchini on a box grater (don’t use the fine holes side, use the bigger holes side). Thinly slice the remaining two inch piece of zucchini. 
  • Slice the garlic clove thinly.
  • In a large skillet, heat enough olive oil to liberally cover the bottom of the pan over medium-high heat and sauté the sliced garlic briefly to barely get some color, then add the zucchini shreds and slices.  Sauté the zucchini and garlic a few more minutes, reducing the heat to keep it from browning.  IMPORTANT:  Do not burn the garlic and do not brown the zucchini, or they will become bitter. 
  • Add a little hot pasta water to the skillet to prevent burning and browning.
  • Add a little of the hot pasta water if it seems too dry — and add a little more olive oil if needed.  You’re trying to build a light sauce here, flavored by the zucchini and garlic. 
  • Turn the heat down low and let it simmer while the pasta cooks. 
  • When the pasta is al-dente, fish it out with tongs and drop it right into the skillet with the zucchini and garlic.  Toss well — the starch from the pasta will thicken up the sauce.  Take the pan off the heat and sprinkle with grated Italian Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.  Toss again to incorporate the cheese.  Serve immediately with more grated cheese and a sprinkle of black pepper on top.
Keyword garlic, pasta, zucchini
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