Tomatoes are so last year. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good tomato-based pasta sauce, but this year I have been really discovering pasta sauces using other vegetables. I have made a lovely sauce with carrots for curry fettuccine and a delicious balsamic-laced red peppers sauce which I tossed with penne. Zucchini and I go way back. It just seemed wrong if I didn’t include it into the club. And let’s just say, zucchini is a great member. A very simple and vegetable heavy sauce utilizing pureed zucchini and onions is tossed with playful farfalle (bowties) for a really fresh and herbacious pasta dish.
Farfalle with Zucchini Sauce
Serves 4 to 6
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 lb zucchini, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1/2 cup packed fresh basil
1/4 cup Parmigianno-Reggiano cheese
Heat the olive oil to a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes until softened but not completely translucent. Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes more until the zucchini is tender but not overcooked.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and then drain the pasta.
Add the zucchini and onion mixture to a blender or food processor and add the 1/2 cup pasta water, fresh basil, and cheese. Puree until smooth and adjust seasoning as needed. Mix most of the zucchini sauce with the farfalle until well-coated, adding more sauce as needed. You may have some leftover sauce, but it can come in handy if you need to reheat any of the pasta later (and re-moisten it with more sauce) or if you want to water it down with some broth for a serving of pureed zucchini soup.