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European, Italian
Farmer’s Market Pasta

Photo by: Ellen Silverman
Comments: 0


We’ve all had those post-farmer’s market moments when, while unloading your goodies, you remember that you actually bought three pounds of zucchini in an optimistic moment, and now you wonder what the heck you are going to do with it. Well, this is what. Think of this as a lemon-garlic salad dressing tossed with pasta, vegetables, and cheese. The only stove time needed is to heat the water and cook the pasta.

Yield: Serves 4 as a main dish
Prep time: 30 Minutes Prep Time
Cooking time: 10 Minutes Stove Time


For the Sauce:

  • 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ medium red onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
  • 1 fresh chile, seeded or not, and minced, or ground chile to taste (Aleppo is one we like, and for fresh sting, a small Thai chile)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 anchovy fillets, rinsed (optional)

For the Pasta:

  • 1 pound pasta (fetuccine, tagliatelle, or linguine)
  • 1½ pounds zucchini (5 medium zucchini), cut into ¼-inch x 2-inch sticks

Finishing Seasonings:

  • 1/3 tightly packed cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • ¼ to 1/3 tightly packed cup fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 1 tightly packed tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, torn
  • ½ cup black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup whole toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded medium-aged sheep cheese or Italian or American Asiago



To make the sauce: In a large serving bowl, combine the garlic, onion, lemon juice, chile, salt and pepper to taste, and anchovy (if using). Set aside.

To make the pasta: Bring 6 quarts salted water to a boil in an 8-quart pot. Drop the pasta into the boiling water. Add the zucchini to the pasta in the water 4 minutes before the pasta is done (check the box for timing). Once the pasta is tender but still has a little bite (al dente), scoop up ½ cup pasta water and set aside. Immediately drain the pasta and zucchini in a colander.

To finish the paste: Stir the reserved hot pasta water into the lemon juice mixture along with the basil, mint, oregano, olives, and oil. Add the drained pasta and zuccini and toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste (be generous with the black pepper), and then toss with the almonds and cheese. Serve hot.


Cook to Cook: The concept behind this recipe translates into any season. Think peas and asparagus cooked in the pasta water in spring, and broccoli or butternut squash in winter.

Wine: Simple dishes like this don’t demand fancy wines, so something like an inexpensive Tuscan red (Toscano Rosso) will do well. That said, simple foods can offer a subtle backdrop that can show off complex wines without clashing, making a fine Chianti or Brunello a great choice for a more special evening.

Work Night Encore: Farmer’s Market Pasta Omelet This is one way our frugal Italian ancestors turned leftover pasta into family supper. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat together 1 to 2 eggs per person you are serving. Add a little salt and pepper, and fresh herbs if you’d like. Heat the leftover Farmer’s Market Pasta with a little hot olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet with an ovenproof handle. Pour the eggs over the noodles, stir a little to combine, and sip the pan into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the eggs are firm and cooked at the center of the noodles. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, cut into wedges, and serve.

© 2011 Minnesota Public Radio

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

879kcal (44%)
1227mg (51%)
35g (54%)
9g (47%)
35mg (12%)
139mcg RAE (5%)
81mg (135%)
573mg (57%)
7mg (38%)

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