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Fusilli with Zucchini & Goat Cheese

To quickly cut a zucchini into matchsticks, trim the ends, slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices and then cut it crosswise into thirds. Cut each stack lengthwise into thin strips.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 small zucchini, trimmed and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tsp. plus 2 Tbs. salt
  • 1/4 lb. goat cheese
  • 1 lb. fusilli or other spiral pasta
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup slivered fresh basil
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Make the sauce
In a large fry pan over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the zucchini and sauté until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the 1 tsp. salt and the goat cheese and stir to combine.

Cook the pasta
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the 2 Tbs. salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Add the pasta to the sauce along with the parsley, basil and a generous amount of pepper. Toss to combine. Add as much of the cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Pasta, by Julia della Croce (Oxmoor House, 2006).