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16 February 2011

Pasta With Zucchini & Mint (Pasta Con Zucchine & Menta)

This pasta dish is among the regulars in my kitchen. Everytime I cook this, my picky five-year old would shower me with thank yous & embraces. Now what mother can resist that?  It's "THE" comfort food for him.  Such a strange liking though because kids and vegetables don't go together.

The taste of this pasta dish depends solely on the quality of the zucchini so try to choose well what you are buying. Through the years that I have been doing this dish, I only encountered once a batch of insipid zucchini.  This is a classic dish that goes well with short pasta like penne or fusilli.  Really, there's no rule.  I am not picky with the kind that I use.  I just grab what is available in my cupboard. Like for this post, I used spaghetti because it's the only one I had that was most fitting with the sauce. 

I use neither garlic nor onions like most recipes do because I like to keep the dominance of the zucchini's sweetness to the palate.  Parmigiano Reggiano enhances the taste and the mint gives it a fresh taste heightened by a subtle hint of lemon from the extra virgin olive oil.   All you need is close your eyes and you would think of summer. 

Pasta With Zucchini & Mint (Pasta Con Zucchine & Menta)

Serves 2
  • 200 g. pasta (any kind will do but penne & fussili are very good)
  • 2 big / 4 small zucchini, diced
  • fresh mint leaves, just a few, about 4 leaves, minced
  • lemon flavored extra virgin olive oil (or regular extra virgin olive oil)
  • salt
  • parmigiano reggiano, grated
  1. Sautè the zucchini in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until brownish.  
  2. Meanwhile, while waiting for the zucchini to cook, boil some water in a pot for the pasta.  When it boils, add salt then throw in the pasta.  Cook pasta according to the number of minutes suggested in the package or until al dente.
  3. Add salt & mint leaves to the zucchini.  
  4. Mix in cooked pasta to the zucchini sauce.  
  5. Mix in grated parmigiano reggiano.  Put the amount according to your taste.  
  6. Drizzle with lemon flavored extra virgin olive oil before serving.