Monday, July 19, 2010

Pasta With Fresh Zucchini Sauce


Zucchini dishes for me, are reserved typically for the summer time. I remember growing up, my mom's garden produced some giant zucchinis. We would eat several meals off one of them. My mom would make all kinds of different things with the abundance of Zucchini, but one thing I always remember is her stuffed zucchini. It looked literally like a zucchini boat filled full of a hamburger/rice mixture topped with some kind of Swiss cheese, it was delicious but really doesn't have the same effect with the tiny ones found at the local stores. 

These days, my zucchini finds are restricted to supermarkets and farmers markets but I don't think I've seen such colossal zucchinis since being a child in my mother's garden. They are usually much smaller then what I had been used to. Nonetheless, they are tasty and by being the "baby versions" their skin is usually very tender.


I've had the recipe for this sauce in my files for a long time. I believe my sister was the one that gave it to me many years ago. It is a wonderful, light tasting sauce that is perfect for the summer months. The original recipe called for all mascarpone, but I decided to lighten it just a tiny bit by replacing some of it with light cream cheese. The taste was still just as good, and I actually really liked the little hint of tartness the cream cheese lends to the dish. The recipe also calls for diced prosciutto* which is a wonderful addition in this dish but if you would like to keep this a vegetarian meal you can leave it out and still be left with a fantastic tasting pasta sauce. The key to this sauce is to reserve a little bit of your pasta water and add it when tossing the pasta with the sauce since it can tighten up too much otherwise.

I served this recipe over Angel hair pasta since I had it on hand, but any other pasta would just be as delicious. I have also served it over whole wheat pasta before and it was also very good. A little simple side salad with a vinegar based vinaigrette completed this wonderful summer meal for us. If Zucchini is your "thing" as well, I hope you'll give this sauce a try!


*I love the taste of prosciutto in this dish but have made it before using pancetta or bacon which I cooked prior to adding them.




Pasta With Fresh Zucchini Sauce
(serves 4-6)
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound zucchini, diced
1/4 cup water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
5 ounces Mascarpone cheese
3 ounces light cream cheese
3 ounces Prosciutto, finely diced
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste
12 ounces Pasta, cooked and drained
2-3 tablespoons reserved pasta water (optional)

Preparation:

In a large pan cook onions in olive oil until tender for about 5 minutes, add garlic and cook for an additional minute making sure not to burn it. Add Zucchini, water and vegetable bouillon cube. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Add mascarpone and cream cheese and cook on low heat until melted. Add the prosciutto, taste for seasonings. Add pasta to the sauce and toss lightly. Add reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce if desired. Serve immediately.

12 comments:

  1. Terribly tempting pasta...Looks awesome...!

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  2. Very similar to the Angel Hair Zucchini dish I made the other day. My family loved it!
    Gruesse.

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  3. Wow !!! the pasta looks so yummy n colorful .. ur easily explained recipe motivates me to try it out asap ...

    - Smita
    http://littlefoodjunction.blogspot.com/

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  4. This looks wonderful. I have a zucchini pasta that I'll be posting soon. Fortunately, it different than yours and we won't be stepping on each others toes. Yours sounds rich, creamy and all-together delicious. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  5. This looks delicious! I love the addition of mascarpone!!!

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  6. This is a recipe that would be a success in our home. I hope to make it part of our eating. It has what is important.

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  7. Zucchini in my neck of the woods grows in the winter. I need to save this recipe for when they become abundant around here. It looks pretty darn good to me.

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  8. That looks amazing... nicely light and fresh and summery. I think you are totally right to keep the prosciutto at bay depending on the climate. In hot tropical place omit, in warm/morderate climate cook until totally crisp so it tastes better then bacon bits, if you live in Alaska or Canad serve it semi cooked.

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  9. This pasta dish looks and sounds amazing! Super YUM!!!

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  10. I've always wanted some way to cook zucchini. I've never made it and am really unfamiliar with how to cook it. This, though, looks gorgeous. That bowl you have it in is an amazing complement! Thanks for this, it's going in my recipe list.

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  11. This seems so light and summery even with the cream cheese and mascarpone! I love it and know it would be a big hit in my house!

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  12. Real pasta? What's that? Hah! I'm so used to eating my zucchini pasta - but wow, this has both. Looks wonderful!

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