ENJOY YOUR PASTA AND EAT YOUR VEGETABLES TOO!
To Serve 4
½-3/4 lb penne or short pasta of your choice
4 tbs good olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts*
2-3 garlic cloves sliced very thin
4 medium zucchini–unpeeled and cut into small bite-size pieces
1 pinch sea salt
A good sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper–to taste
1/3 Cup freshly grated cheese–your favorite
A pinch of red pepper flakes-optional
Cook pasta according to directions.
While pasta is cooking combine olive oil and pine nuts in a large skillet and cook on medium heat until the nuts start to turn golden but be very careful to not let burn.
Add garlic, zucchini, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (if using) and cook until the zucchini just softens a bit.
Remove 1/3 of the nuts and zucchini and puree in a blender. Return puree to the skillet, taste for salt and pepper, and set a side.
When pasta has cooked, al dente, remove ½ cup of pasta water and set aside.
Drain pasta and then add it to the skillet along with some of the pasta water.
Cook on low until the water starts to evaporate, adding a little more of the water. As it cooks, the water evaporates and the pasta is coated and slightly creamy. Stir in your favorite freshly grated cheese and serve immediately.
NOTE: *Pine nuts are expensive and sometimes difficult to find. I have often used coarsely chopped walnuts instead. Yes, it does change the taste a bit, but it is still delicious.