I love trying new ways to use summer zucchini. Making pasta sauce out of grated zucchini is absolute genius! This dish gobbled up all of the zucchini that I received in my CSA share- amazing.
This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen.com. I used bucatini (our favorite) instead of spaghetti. I also modified the proportions and method. It was a vegetarian crowd-pleaser. Super quick to prepare too.
Yield: Serves 5 to 6
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for pasta water, and to taste
- 16 ounces (1 pound, 450 grams) bucatini, cooked al dente (I used De Cecco)(can substitute with spaghetti, linguini, or fettuccine)
- 2 cups (470 ml) pasta water, reserved
- 2 1/2 to 3 pounds (about 1100 to 1300 grams) zucchini, trimmed, coarsely grated (I used 3 large zucchini- about 8 cups grated)
- 12 tablespoons (170 grams, 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 10 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 1 generous cup (90 grams) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons (about 2 large handfuls)
- Mince the garlic cloves in a food processor. Set aside.
- Coarsely grate the zucchini in a food processor, emptying the bowl as necessary. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a large, deep skillet or pot over medium-high heat. (I used an enameled cast iron pot.)
- Add the garlic, stirring it into the butter for one minute.
- Add the zucchini, salt, and red pepper. Cook the zucchini, stirring from time to time, for 13 to 15 minutes. It will first let off a puddle liquid, the liquid will cook off, and the zucchini will become soft and concentrated. If the zucchini begins to brown, reduce the heat slightly.
- Stir frequently for 2 more minutes until it reaches an almost spreadable consistency.
- Meanwhile, boil your pasta in well-salted water until it’s 1 minute shy of fully cooked. Before you drain it, reserve 2 cup of the pasta cooking water and set it aside. (I cooked my pasta for 9 minutes.)
- Pour in 1 cup of the reserved pasta water into the zucchini and butter mixture scraping up any browned bits.
- Add the drained pasta, and cook together for 2 minutes. Use tongs to pull up the zucchini butter sauce into the pasta strands, tossing frequently, and adding some or all of the remaining pasta water as needed to loosen.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired.
- Incorporate a generous half of the parmesan and basil and mix, then transfer to a serving bowl, if desired. (I served the pasta from my cast iron pan!)
- Garnish with remaining parmesan and basil. Serve.