California Central Coast Recipes

Orecchiette with Zucchini

In early summer, when small firm green zucchini and summer squash start showing up in the market, this recipe is a favorite of ours. Also about this time of year fresh Basil and Italian Parsley start showing up as well, and this Italian classic recipe incorporates all of these ingredients in a light easy-to prepare sauce. This sauce is best when used with Orecchiette (ears) pasta or Conchiglie (shells). 2017, Orecchiette with Zucchini
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


1 pound Orechiette Pasta
4 medium Zucchini , about 2 pounds
1 medium White Onion , thinly sliced
2 to 3 medium Cloves Garlic ,minced
1/2 cup Basil , coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Italian Parsley , coarsely chopped
4 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Salt to taste
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste

Preparation Directions.

1 Wash and dry the zucchini. Cut into 1/4 inch rounds. (If using large zucchini, first cut lengthwise before cutting into half-rounds.)

2 In a large saucepan or stockpot, pour in the olive oil and heat over MEDIUM-LOW heat. Add the thinly sliced onion, separating the sections as you put it in. Then add the garlic and saute' both until translucent, and fragrant,stirring frequently and being careful not to burn the garlic and turn it bitter.

3 When the onion and garlic are softened and fragrant, add the cut zucchini. Stir evenly, and cook some more until the zucchini's white insides are lightly golden and softened.

4 Season with some Salt and Pepper as well as the Basil and Parsley. Stir gently on LOW heat so you don't damage the basic shape of the zucchini rounds.

5 In the meantime, heat a large stockpot full of boiling water, add a tablespoon or so of salt and stir, then add the pasta ears. 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 sauce.

6 If after mixing the two components, the mixture is too dry, add a little olive oil.

7 Spoon out pasta mixture onto individual dinner plates. grate some Parmesan on top of each portion and serve.

8 Be sure to have additional Parmesan cheese available at the table.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

A light white wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc works well with this entree.

A tip from Sue!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds when you get through with a brick of Parmesan cheese! They can be used to flavor soups deliciously. Store them in the freezer in a plastic bag, and use as needed.

The Parmesan rinds give unbelievable flavor and soul to soups and will turn a bowl of soup into an "entree" worthy of any guest. I generally use about two ounces of Parmesan cheese rinds to a stockpot of soup. Add them in after you've added the liquid and let them cook along with the rest of your soup's ingredients. You won't be sorry!

read more:
Tuscan-Style White Bean Soup with Parmesan Cheese Rind