Penne with Baby Zucchini & Basil

  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 c. (gently packed) fresh basil leaves, cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
  • 1 lb. penne
  • 1 lb. small zucchini, trimmed and cut into very thin rounds
  • 6 T. grated Parmesan

Place the oil in a large bowl along with the basil; stir to make sure the basil is completely coated with the oil.

Bring 6 quarts of water to the boil in a large stock/pasta pot.  Add 2-3 Tablespoons of salt.  Add the penne and cook until almost al dente—it should still be quite firm in the center.  Add the zucchini rounds and stir.  Continue to cook until the penne is al dente and the zucchini is tender—this should take 1 to 2 minutes.  Drain.

Add the pasta and zucchini to the basil oil and toss to combine.  Add the Parmesan and toss again.  Add some of the pasta water if the pasta seems stodgy or dry (for this dish you may need as much as 1/4 c. of the pasta water).  Taste and correct the seasoning.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4 to 6.

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