Spaghetti w/ Zucchini & Olive Oil

Posted by on Apr 22, 2010 | Comments Off on Spaghetti w/ Zucchini & Olive Oil

8 TBSP butter or extra virgin olive oil
4 lbs zucchini, sliced into thin rounds (do not peel)
1 lb whole grain spaghetti
pure salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
fresh basil, chopped (optional)

  • While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add zucchini & saute until cooked to your liking (I like it a little over-done in this dish).
  • Once pasta is al dente, drain and add to saute pan.
  • Toss to coat with the oil (add another drizzle if you need it).
  • Add freshly ground black pepper, garnish with basil, & serve.



~ I never go out of my way to buy zucchini, because I’m the only one in the house that likes it. That said, it’s been included in my CSA pick up for several weeks in a row now, so I’ve been using it quite a bit lately. I dug up this recipe which I haven’t made in about 10 years. I had no recollection of it at first glance, but was excited to reunite with it as I had all sorts of stars, arrows & check marks next to it. It’s from “The Top 100 Pasta Sauces”.

~ I changed the amounts of everything to suit our needs, using only 1 pound of zucchini (one medium green & one yellow) as I knew the kids wouldn’t eat it. I still stayed pretty heavy on the butter/oil, as the zucchini soaks up quite a bit and you want enough left in there to coat the pasta (& by the way 5 oz is equal to 9 TBSP or 1/2 cup plus 1 TBSP but use as much or as little as you like).

~ On a side note, I find the best way to get kids to eat a wide variety of stuff is to just have them try one bite every time. This really works, as it’s often not that the kids don’t like something, but more that they’re not used to the flavor or texture. For so long, my daughter didn’t like salad. Each time though, she had to try one bite (I do let them spit it out if need be!). At some point — whether it was just the right dressing, or that she was finally used to chewing on a leaf — her eyes lit up & suddenly, she was a salad eater. Some of my kid’s favorite veggies are ones they initially gagged on. So…. they each tried one bite of the zucchini (but still don’t like it!) They devoured the oily pasta of course.

~ Obviously, this is a very basic recipe. You can throw in anything you want – pine nuts, diced tomatoes, garlic. The basil was my addition. I dumped a lot of it on & was in spaghetti twirling heaven. I didn’t add salt to this, as I found that salting the pasta water (as I always do) was just enough.

~ I find it best to rinse the pasta for dishes like this (when using an olive oil sauce). In most other cases, you want that sticky, starchy stuff to stay on the pasta, as that’s what makes the sauce cling to it. Additionally, always plan it so that your sauce is ready before your pasta. You don’t want the pasta sitting in the colander too long, getting cold & clumping together.

 For those with various food restrictions, this recipe falls into the following categories:

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Sugar Free, Grain Free, Vegan, Raw

If eating gluten free, be sure to use a whole grain, gluten free pasta.  If eating dairy free, use oil instead of butter.

~ Please keep in mind that enriched white pasta is not a healthy food. Anything that’s labeled *enriched* or *fortified* means that hundreds of nutrients were stripped out, but only a few of them were replaced (synthetically). 25 – 50% of the water soluble B vitamins that are “put back” into the white pasta are lost in the cooking water. If you then rinse (white pasta), you’re washing off even more of the synthetic Bs. Enriched/fortified food = processed food = disease. I know I’m not your mother, but I’m somebody’s mother and that’s how this all began (for me). Now go comb your hair, you look like a slob.

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