I love a garden fresh pasta made with ingredients straight from the backyard: zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and basil. A garden fresh pasta like this is a good reason to especially if you top it with fresh Burrata! Fresh veggies and cheese...always a win!
The zucchini sauce is best, in my opinion, if you grate some of the zucchini and cut the rest into bigger and smaller pieces. This way some of the zucchini melts into the sauce and you have some smaller chunks of zucchini and some larger. However, if you wanted a smoother sauce altogether you could simply grate all the zucchini. Make it your own!
This is a simple pasta dish consisting of zucchini that gets cooked down with butter, pasta water, and cheese until it makes a fresh tasting sauce that coats the pasta. Short pasta shapes are best and I'm a big fan of farfalle, or butterfly pasta.You can chose to keep this dish rather simple by just tossing the pasta with the zucchini sauce, or you can top it with some cherry tomatoes and creamy, dreamy Burrata cheese! I look for any excuse to enjoy Burrata. It is quite simply the best topping of all!
Simplest Zucchini Parmesan Pasta
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest
by Tieghan Gerard
1 pound pasta, any cut works
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-4 medium zucchini (yellow or green, shredded or chopped)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
chili flakes, to taste
salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup grated Pecorino or Manchego cheese
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
Optional: Burrata cheese for topping, if desired
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Just before draining reserve 1-1/4 cups of the pasta cooking water. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini, garlic, thyme, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook until the zucchini is golden, 5 minutes. Mix in the butter. Using the back of your spoon or potato masher, mash down the zucchini until it becomes a chunky sauce.
Add 1 cup of reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the pasta, parmesan, and pecorino, and toss until melted. Add more pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Remove from the heat, toss in the basil. Serve topped with more cheese, if desired, and enjoy!