California Central Coast Recipes
Zucchini Coins with Cherry Tomatoes and Olives with Pasta Shells
You'll hit the Jackpot when you taste some of summer's best vegetables combined together to make a fresh pasta dinner a summer night's hit.
Fresh zucchini, onion and garlic are always good together, but by adding a few Kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs, takes this summer mainstay to another dimension! It's pretty quick to throw together, inexpensive and light enough for a hot night.
If you can find them, use salt-cured Kalamata olives. (They're available at many Farmers Markets.)
Preparation time: 20 minutesCooking time: 15 minutes
3 Tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium cloves Garlic , chopped
1 Cup sweet white Onion , chopped
1-1/2 pounds zucchini , sliced into "coin" slices
2 Cups Cherry tomatoes , sliced into halves
15 Salt-cured Kalamata olives , pitted and halved lengthwise
1 to 2 Tablespoons Fresh Oregano , chopped
2 Tablespoons Italian parsley , chopped
Salt to taste
Freshly cracked Black pepper to taste
8 ounces Pasta Shells , cooked as directed on package
Parmesan Cheese , grated
1 On a separate burner, fill a pasta pot with hot water and heat over high heat in preparation for cooking the pasta. (Pasta shells generally only take about seven minutes or so to cook or as directed on package.)
2 Then on another burner, in a large stockpot add the olive oil and heat over medium-low. Add the onion and saute until starting to turn lightly golden stirring frequently.
3 Add in the the garlic and when fragrant, toss in the zucchini slices and stir often until the zucchini starts to lightly brown.
4 Add in the olive halves and continue to saute for a minute or two.
5 Add in the fresh oregano and parsley and toss thoroughly to distribute well throughout the mixture.
6 Add in the tomato halves and carefully toss again.
7 Correct seasonings to personal taste.
8 Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water as directed on package. Drain and add to the zucchini mixture. Stir gently but thoroughly to distribute the sauce mixture evenly.
9 Serve on dinner plates and if using offer Parmesan cheese at the table.
Serve with a simple Pinot Grigio.