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Zucchini with Olive Oil, Garlic and Basil

These garlicky zucchini not only make a flavorful side dish but also double nicely as a pasta sauce. Boil 1 lb. pasta, such as penne or rigatoni, according to the package instructions. Drain and add to the fry pan, and toss with the zucchini. Serve with plenty of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. You can substitute fresh flat-leaf parsley for the basil.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. zucchini  
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh basil 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 

Directions:

Trim the stem ends of each zucchini. Cut in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into slices about 1/2 inch thick.

In a large, heavy fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant and golden, about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the basil over the zucchini toward the end of the cooking time.

Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian by Michele Scicolone (Oxmoor House, 2007).