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Fettuccine With Creamy Zucchini Sauce
The Washington Post Wine Club Fettuccine With Creamy Zucchini Sauce

Fettuccine With Creamy Zucchini Sauce

This pasta dish has just a few ingredients but is packed with flavor. It’s creamy but not too rich.
Wine Pairing
Wine Pairing
12 oz. dried fettuccine pasta
2 Tbs. olive oil, plus 1 tsp. as needed (optional)
2 to 3 large (20 oz.) zucchini and/ or squash
1 large clove garlic
8 oz. fresh ricotta cheese
Coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 basil leaves, for garnish
2 Tbs. freshly grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese, for garnish (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1⁄2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Place a plate near the stovetop.

Trim off and discard the ends of the zucchini and/or squash. Cut the vegetables in half lengthwise and place them cut side down on the cutting board; then cut them crosswise into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices (half-moons). Mince the garlic.

Add half of the zucchini/squash to the skillet, flat sides down, so they fit in a single layer. Cook without stirring for 2 to 3 minutes, until the pieces have browned, then turn over and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the plate, then add the remaining 1 tsp. of oil, if needed; when it is hot, add the remaining vegetables and the garlic to the skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on 1 side, then turn them over and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, if necessary, to keep the garlic from burning. Transfer the vegetables and garlic to the plate.

Turn off the heat under the skillet. Add the reserved pasta cooking water and the ricotta cheese to the skillet, stirring to dislodge any browned bits. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fold the drained pasta and the vegetables and garlic, plus any accumulated juices, into the sauce, stirring gently to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. (At this point, other flavor ingredients can be added.)

Roll up the basil leaves and cut them into very thin strips (chiffonade).

Divide the sauced pasta among individual wide, shallow bowls; sprinkle with the basil and the grated cheese, if using. Serve warm.

Adapted from “Summer Gatherings: Casual Food to Enjoy With Family and Friends,” by Rick Rodgers (William Morrow, 2008). Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick for The Washington Post.

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