Happy Monday! Happy Secret Recipe Club reveal day! Happy August!
I’m not sure that I’m happy about it being August, but what are you going to do.
So, I have to admit, this months’ Secret Recipe Club assignment was a bit of a challenge. Not for a lack of recipes. But for a lack of time and lack of specific ingredients.
You see, I’ve pretty much all but given up on cooking meals from scratch for my family. I just can’t keep up with it. Our evenings are too full, too frantic and my nerves too frazzled to keep up with it all. So I’ve completely simplified our meals. Not to the point of eating only frozen meals…but there are weeks when that sounds pretty tempting.
Recipe Taster, Savor the Unexpected has recipe upon recipe that sound brilliant, exotic and just a little out of the ordinary. Food like Chocolate Rum Quinoa, Ricotta Mousse Tower with Tomato Jam and Chocolate Ganache, and Healthy Sicilian Spring Rolls really peaked my interest, but had me in a little bit of a panic.
I just didn’t think I’d have the time, energy or ingredients to make any of these recipes.
There it was, staring me in the face. A recipe who’s beauty and flavor comes from it’s simplicity. Just a few ingredients, penne, garlic, olive oil, fresh herbs and zucchini. That’s all that it took to make this flavorful, quick and beautiful meal.
I decided to modify the recipe just a little, to simplify it even more and to make clean up a little easier. I’ll do just about anything to use less dishes. I cooked the zucchini with the olive oil and garlic, rather than pan frying it first. I used fresh basil from my super tiny, mini garden instead of oregano. I added a giant handful of Parmesan cheese, because pasta isn’t complete without cheese. Obviously. For the finishing touch I added a pinch or two of red pepper flakes, just for a little heat.
Beautiful, don’t you think?
A quick weeknight pasta meal featuring fresh zucchini, basil and garlic.
- 13.25 ounces penne
- 3 small to medium zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch or two of red pepper flakes
- 6-8 fresh basil, chopped into thin strips
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Cook penne according to package directions.
- While the penne cooks, in a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the chopped garlic, heating until it begins to sizzle, about 1 minute.
- Add the sliced zucchini, salt, pepper and red pepper. Saute for 7-10 minutes, or until the zucchini is crisp tender.
- Add the hot, drained pasta to the olive oil, stirring to coat. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper or drizzle with additional olive oil, if needed.
Inspired by Recipe Taster.
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