My local store had a ‘bumper harvest’ of zucchini from Mexico. I bought some 5kg (11pounds) and the last few days has been a zucchini fiesta in our house. You can adjust the amount of zucchini to suit your palate. I added dry white wine to the sauce. It would be nice if you would add it too. Have a pleasant day!!!
Pasta with Zucchini in Creamy Tomato Sauce
Preparation time: 15 minutes; Cooking time: 45 minutes; Serves: 4-6
- 450g (1Ib) pasta (I used Conchiglie Rigate)- or penne, or rotini
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic crushed
- ½ teaspoon cayenne or black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 x 796ml (28 fl.oz) can whole tomatoes chopped or roughly blended
- ½ cup water or stock
- ½ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
- ½ cup heavy cream (35-40%) or half and half (10%)
- Salt to taste
- Extra Parmesan or Pecorino Romano to serve
Ingredients for Zucchini
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 800g (1.8 pound) zucchini, sliced in half lengthways then thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Tip: please gather all ingredients and place them on the countertop. Start by making the sauce. It should simmer for at least 30 minutes but you can cook it longer if you want. While the sauce is simmering shallow fry the zucchini and set aside, then boil the pasta.
- Cook the pasta sauce: heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and bell pepper. Sweat them, covered, over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Add the garlic, cayenne, paprika, oregano, sugar and cook over low heat for 1 minute.
- Add the wine and bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, stock (broth) and salt to taste and bring the sauce to a boil, then simmer covered over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time. Keep the sauce hot on a low simmer. Just before serving stir the cheese, cream and parsley, stir to combine and heat until piping hot but do not boil.
- Shallow fry the zucchini: while the pasta is simmering, heat a tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet and shallow fry the zucchini over medium high heat in 3-4 batches until golden brown on both sides. It will take about 6-8 minutes per batch and you will need about 1 tablespoon oil per batch. Transfer the zucchini to a plate and season with salt and pepper (do not drain the oil).
- Cook the pasta: while the last batch is cooking heat water and cook the pasta in plenty of salted water as per packet instructions for ¾ of the suggested time. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, then drain the pasta.
- Toss everything together: add the drained pasta to the hot sauce and toss. Then add the set aside zucchini and toss to combine everything. If it seems too thick loosen it with the reserved hot pasta water. Serve immediately with some grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese on the side.
Step By Step Photos
Heat the olive oil and sweat the onions and bell pepper, 10 minutes, then add the garlic, cayenne, paprika, oregano and sugar. Cook over low heat for 1 minute.
Add the wine, and simmer uncovered, 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes, stock (broth) and salt to taste. Simmer over low heat 30 minutes. Keep the sauce hot.
Slice the zucchini then shallow fry it in 3-4 batches in a large skillet over medium high heat until golden brown on both sides (4-6 minutes per batch). Transfer to a plate and season with salt and pepper to taste.
When ready to serve, stir in the cheese, cream and parsley, then heat the sauce until piping hot but do not boil. Toss in the pasta so that it absorbs the sauce, then toss in the zucchini. Serve immediately.