penne with zucchini and basil

I was contemplating how to best use the monster zucchini… zucchini bread? ratatouille? stir-fry? I came across this recipe in my cookbook by Eli Krieger (I’ve tried about three of her recipes from it and I give it my seal of approval. Only criticism is that the instructions can be a bit off but maybe because everyone’s stove and oven is a little bit different? Not sure). This is a great recipe for a summer weekend lunch/dinner – add a protein, light, filling, and has clean flavors. I made this dish using my farmer’s market finds and my friend’s backyard zucchini (still have a little left).

penne with zucchini and basil

¾ box (12 ounces) penne pasta
¼ cup olive oil
5 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 medium zucchini (1/2 lb each) sliced into ¼ inch thick half moons
1½ cups of grape or cherry tomatoes (I chose yellow)
2 TB lemon juice
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1.    Boil the pasta until al dente. Drain, set aside.
2.    Add 2 TB of olive oil to a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring until garlic is light golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini and 2 TB more olive oil. Cook until the veggies are tender, about 6 minutes.
3.    In the large pot used for boiling pasta, add the pasta with the garlic and zucchini. Add the seasonings: salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, cheese, basil, the remaining olive oil and toss to combine.

Tip: when chopping the zucchini and garlic, make sure that they are sliced at a consistent thickness, otherwise, it won’t cook evenly. Also, if you don’t have a zester, use your peeler to peel some of the lemon skin off and thinly slice it.

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