Monday, July 23, 2012

Peppery Zucchini Pasta

  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 pepperoncini (from a jar), minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 1 large zucchini, shredded
  • 2 oz reduced-fat goat cheese, crumbled (1/3 cup)
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Makes 4 (1 1/2 cup) Servings
  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, 3-4 minutes. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil, pepperoncini, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and conmtinue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes to flavor the oil. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
  2. Bring a  large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserving 2 tablespoons of pasta cooking liquid, drain pasta.
  3. Add pasta, reserved pasta cooking liquid, zucchini, cheese, tomatoes and basil to skillet; toss to combine. Cook over medium heat until pasta is just heated through and cheese  is melted, 1-2 minutes. Season with additional pepper to taste and serve warm.

Note: This recipe appears in the South Beach Diet Taste of Summer Cookbook. This is what summer comfort food should taste like. This dish totally hit the spot earlier this evening because it  was colorful an-d filling and it tasted like what Italy in the summer should taste like-cool, comforting, savory. Zucchini, cherry and grape tomatoes and fresh basil are in season and this pasta dish makes a great dish for an outdoor gathering. You can also use oregano, parsley or any other Italian herb with the basil to make this pasta dish even more delicious. 

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