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Zucchini Pasta

An uninspiring title, I know! But it's also the truth. What the title doesn't tell you is how incredibly delicious this zucchini pasta is. Seriously, it's so very good! Pasta and fried zucchini, how can you go wrong? After thinly slicing the zucchini you quickly fry it in oil, in batches. Then you blend 1/3 of the zucchini with some pasta water to make a creamy sauce. Then toss in the hot pasta with some cheese and you're done.

Don't get me wrong, there is a fair amount of multitasking going on here. While the pasta water is boiling, the zucchini are frying. Then the spaghetti is cooking. A quick purée is made out of some of the zucchini, and then it's all tossed together. You can do this!!!!!!

Jump over to Food 52 for a video if you're unsure and need a little convincing.

Note - The original recipe calls for spaghetti but we already had fresh linguine on hand so we went with that. Also, we used 1.5 medium zucchini and substituted a mix of parm and aged harvarti for the provolone.

Zucchini Pasta

1 clove garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

5 small zucchini, sliced into very thin rounds

Salt and pepper

11 ounces (320 grams) spaghetti

3 ounces (80 grams) grated Provolone del Monaco (or Parmesan)

1 knob of cold, unsalted butter

1 handful basil leaves

Put a large pot of water on to boil for the spaghetti.

In a wide skillet over medium-high heat, add the garlic clove and olive oil so the mixture sizzles and the oil gets infused by the garlic. When just golden, remove the garlic and add the zucchini rounds. Toss every now and then, letting the zucchini fry away until tender but not brown.

In the meantime, add a teaspoon of salt to the boiling water, then place spaghetti in the pot.

Drain the zucchini on paper towels and season with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Keep warm. Blend together about a third of the zucchini and about 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) of water from the pot of pasta—I use a glass jar with a handheld blender for this. Pour this purée into a large serving bowl, where you will eventually add all the pasta.

When the spaghetti is al dente (take out about 1 minute before the suggested cooking time on the packet), drain, saving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Toss the spaghetti into the serving bowl with the purée, the grated cheese, the fried zucchini, and the cold butter. Quickly toss, using tongs or a spatula to help you. You want spaghetti to be silky and just coated with the purée, not dry but not watery either. If it's too dry, add cooking water a little at a time. Top with the basil leaves and serve immediately.

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