Zucchini are the parasite of the garden, because once you have one… you have 1,000. It’s like having fleas… on crack. I love growing zucchini because they’re easy to grow, but we have SO MANY ZUCCHINI. I have been giving them away to anyone who will take them, but tonight I actually used some and made one of my favorite zucchini recipes – summer squash pasta. It’s relatively simple and easy to make, and apparently, pretty healthy! I also used Orrechiette for the first time (it means “Little Ears” in italian!).
First, you want to chop up your zucchini, mushrooms and onion. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan on medium and add the vegetables. Stir to coat vegetables with olive oil. Crush two big fat cloves of garlic into this. Keep this on medium/low, because the veggies have a high water content and will cook fairly quickly. If you cook too high, the zucchini will burn and get bitter.
Get your pot of water going for your pasta. You can use any pasta you want, I just happened to have Orrechiette on hand since I’d read about it in “Everyday Food”. I usually use something fairly dense like farfalle or rotini for a dish with lots of chunky vegetables in it – gives the oil and cheese something to stick on to. Once the onions are transparent and everything has shrunk down a bit, add 1/2 cup cheese, the frozen peas, and season very liberally with salt and pepper. (Remember: salt enhances vegetables but it’s a fine line between too little and too much. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TASTE AS YOU GO!!!)
Has it been 11 minutes? Good. Let the pasta keep cooking. (The box lied – these little ears took about 17 minutes to cook instead of 11! Sheesh! The only way to tell if pasta is done is to pluck one out of the scalding water, let it cool for a few seconds on a spatula, and then burn the roof of your mouth as you see if it’s done!) Drain the pasta and shake it a few times to get all that bath water off of it. (Some people rinse, but I don’t. I guess I’m a rebel like that.)
Next, pour all of the pasta into your pan and gently mix to coat the pasta with the vegetables, juice, and cheese. When you’ve mixed it pretty good, add most of the rest of the remaining half cup of shredded cheese. Save some for the top of your dish – it will be worth it.
I calculated all of this out in the Weight Watchers Recipe Builder, and it’s coming in at 7 points per serving. The picture shown here is 1.5 cups which cost me 10 points – not bad at all for a delicious, filling, and savory pasta dinner. The picture below has more accurate portions and Weight Watchers listings, if you’re curious! Enjoy – and watch for the next Zucchini Killer recipe coming soon!