Do you guys have zucchini coming out of your ears yet? I know in a couple of weeks we will, so I thought it would be a great time to share one of my favorite ways to prepare them. This is a recipe that I’ve been making for several years now, looking forward to it every summer. This is another recipe that my sweet neighbor Janie shared with me a couple of years before she passed. She always loved gardening, and sharing her bounty – including zucchinis! I’ve tweaked it a bit over the years, and it’s open to substitutions, depending on what looks good from your garden (or CSA share) that week.
This pasta couldn’t be simpler to make. While the pasta is cooking, you do a quick saute and sauce with the veggies – then toss everything together and top with breadcrumbs. Meals like this are a lifesaver when the weather climbs to 100+, and the idea of slaving over a hot stove makes you want to cry for mercy. I made a few changes to the recipe over the years – adding tomato and white wine to the mix, as I felt the dish was a bit dry without them. Have made this dish with yellow squash as well, and it was great.
1 pound linguine
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, then sliced very thinly crosswise
1 large tomato, diced (about 1.5 cups)
20 black olives, halved
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup white wine (I used Vermouth)
1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp olive oil
Heat oven to 425. Toss the breadcrumbs with 1 tsp olive oil and garlic powder. Place on a cookie sheet, and toast in oven until golden brown; about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Fill a 10-quart stockpot with 7 quarts water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons coarse salt. Add pasta, stir until water returns to a boil, and cook pasta, according to package directions, until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add oil and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add onion and zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, olives, oregano, and red pepper flakes; season with salt to taste. Add white wine and simmer for a about 5 minutes.
Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Add pasta to skillet and toss to combine. If pasta seems dry, add reserved cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing between each addition. Transfer pasta to a large platter, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with bread crumbs; serve immediately.