You are going to love this simple pasta dish! Make this Farfalle with Zucchini and Sun Gold Tomato Sauce for dinner tonight with garden vegetables!
I’ve mentioned before that Jack and I often wind down at night by watching some cooking shows on television. (What can I say? We love cooking!) That nighttime habit resulted in today’s delicious recipe for Farfalle with Zucchini and Sun Gold Tomato Sauce.
We were watching Nick Stellino on Create TV – and he made this Pasta con Le Zucchine recipe. The technique is to essentially cook small cubes of zucchini in olive oil and red pepper flakes until the zucchini softens and caramelizes.
Next, fresh mint, basil, parsley and garlic are added and briefly sautéed before adding either stock or the water from cooking the pasta to create a simple, creamy and super flavorful sauce. Grated Romano cheese plus some butter was also added at the end – then the sauce is tossed over pasta.
The dish looked (to quote Mr. Stellino) “spectacular!” – and Jack and I knew we wanted to try making the recipe ourselves. Plus – we’re still working our way through our prolific garden zucchini crop this summer!
We took the dish one step further and made it Farfalle with Zucchini and Sun Gold Tomato Sauce. Adding some of our backyard garden-grown Sun Gold tomatoes to the sauce adds a wonderful fresh, sweet burst of tomato flavor that is a wonderful complement to the original pasta with zucchini sauce recipe. Also – don’t leave out those red pepper flakes! They add a gentle heat that totally makes this dish.
If you don’t have the yellow Sun Gold tomatoes in your garden or at the supermarket, feel free to swap in any variety of grape or cherry tomato you like. The flavor will be very similar.
If you can’t find Sun Gold tomatoes, feel free to swap in any other cherry or grape tomato.
½ pound dry farfalle pasta
Salted water for pasta
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 pint Sun Gold tomatoes (found in most supermarkets)
Big pinch red pepper flakes
2 cups skin on zucchini, half inch pieces
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
1 ½ cups vegetable stock
2 cups of the pasta water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup Romano cheese, grated plus more for serving.
In a large pot, fill with water and once boiling, add a tablespoon of kosher salt, then add pasta. Cook the pasta three minutes less than box directions which typically is eleven minutes, so cook pasta for 8 minutes. Save two cups of the pasta water and drain the rest.
In a large sauté pan or skillet, heat two tablespoons of the oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add tomatoes and cook just until skins start to blister, about two to three minutes. Remove tomatoes to a bowl with a slotted spoon but leave the oil in the pan.
Add the remaining olive oil and once hot, add the pepper flakes and cook for one minute then add the zucchini and cook for three minutes. Add the salt, pepper, mint, basil, parsley and garlic and cook for one more minute.
Add all of the stock and simmer for about 20 minutes until the zucchini has melted down into the sauce and most of the stock as evaporated.
Add one cup of the pasta water and puree half the mixture. (I scooped half into a tall jar and pureed with an emersion blender then poured it back into the pan.)
Add the almost cooked pasta and a little more pasta water and cook over medium heat until the pasta is tender. (use the remaining pasta water only if needed to smooth out the sauce if it is too thick).
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and Romano cheese. Then add in the blistered tomatoes along with any liquid in the bowl and gently toss into the final dish.
Serve with additional grated Romano cheese.
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