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Penne with Zucchini and Basil

  • SERVINGS: 10 first-course servings
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This pasta, packed with summer squash and herbs, is designed to be eaten as part of a multicourse meal. It will serve eight as a main dish.

Plus: Pasta Recipes and Tips

  1. 1 1/2 pounds penne or gemelli
  2. 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 1/2 pounds small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  4. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  5. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  6. 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
  7. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons basil
  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in each of 2 large skillets. Add half of the zucchini to each skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Return the pasta to the pot and add the butter and zucchini along with any olive oil in the skillets. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and half of the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the liquid is creamy and slightly absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Add more of the pasta cooking water if the pasta is dry. Stir in half of the basil and transfer the pasta to a large platter. Sprinkle with the remaining basil and Parmesan and serve immediately.