California Central Coast Recipes
Spaghetti with Zucchini and Sweet Red Pepper.
Spaghetti with Zucchini and Sweet Red Pepper might sound boring, but this particular combination with fresh basil and garlic is absolutely divine! Sometimes the simplest combination of ingredients -especially when you add the Parmesan cheese for accent- can combine together in such a surprising unexpected delight.
You'll question why it hadn't been thought up before! Once you taste it, you'll want it often. And it's so easy to throw together (and inexpensive to make) this will become one of your favorites in your arsenal!
Preparation time: 15 minutesCooking time: 15 minutes
3 Tablespoons Extra virgin Olive oil
3 large cloves Garlic , coarsely chopped
1 Large Red Bell Pepper , rinsed and coarsely chopped
1 Pound Zucchini ,rinsed and cut into thin "coins"
3/4 to 1 cup loosely packed Basil leaves , torn
6 ounces Spaghetti pasta
Parmesan Cheese , grated for the table
1 Wash and dry the zucchini. Cut into 1/4 inch rounds. (If using large zucchini, first cut lengthwise before cutting into half-rounds.) Set aside.
2 Wash and dry the Red Pepper. Remove white interior ribs. Cut into half-inch strips lengthwise, then cut crosswise into small squares or dice.Set aside.
3 Peel and skin the garlic and coarsely chop.Set aside.
4 In a large saucepan or stockpot, add in the olive oil and heat on medium-low heat.When hot, add in the red pepper pieces. Let cook until slightly softened.
5 Then add the garlic and saute' until translucent, and fragrant,stirring frequently and being careful not to burn the garlic and turn it bitter.
6 Add in the zucchini coins, separating them as you scatter them over the bottom of the pot. Stir well and distribute throughout the mixture.
7 If the mixture seems dry, add a little more Olive oil and stir to distribute.
8 Add in the salt and pepper to taste and gently stir to distribute.
9 Let cook until the zucchini have a "just barely cooked" appearance with a slight crunch when bitten.
10 Add in the torn Basil and gently stir to distribute throughout the mixture. Let cook for a few minutes, then correct seasonings to personal taste.
11 In the meantime, on another burner, heat a large stockpot full of boiling water, add a tablespoon or so of salt and stir, then add the spaghetti. Stir the pasta water often to get equal cooking.Cook until the pasta is al dente, drain and add the pasta to the cooked zucchini red pepper sauce. Gently stir to amalgamate.
12 Spoon out pasta mixture onto individual dinner plates.Be sure to have Parmesan cheese to top off the pasta available for grating at the table.
This is such a mellow sauce! You can be traditional and serve a young Sangiovese or Chianti with this Italian “mama-style" dish or a chilled fresh dry white like a Roussane or Vigonier would work well too!