Pappardelle with zucchini and cherry tomatoes

How to make summer pasta with zucchini and cherry tomatoes

This is an easy vegetable-based summer pasta recipe. Simple plant-based pasta dishes became my specialty somewhere along the way. Give me any vegetable (or two or three) and I will give you a delicious and nutritious plate of pasta. It’s what I do.

I’m in southern Vermont visiting friends and family and picked up a bright box of yellow cherry tomatoes at Walker Farm outside of Brattleboro. I also bought some really awesome peaches from Connecticut there. Like perfect, juicy, chin-dripping, get me a towel please peaches. The zucchini came fresh from my family’s garden as is known to happen in great abundance in Vermont this time of year. Zucchinis for days.

I cooked the tomatoes and zucchini separately and then combined them to give them each their proper and careful due. I just ate the peaches. I had plans to make a crostata but it seemed a waste not to savor such succulent peaches just as they were.

Looking for something else easy and healthy for dinner? I’ve posted more than two dozen meatless pasta recipes over here. Just follow a few simple guidelines and pasta doesn’t need to be a fearful carb or an occasional indulgence. Find out how and why I eat pasta almost every day in posts I wrote about pasta and health over here and here.

Summer pasta with zucchini and yellow cherry tomatoes

Serves 2

  • About 1 cup of yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced – I like to cut rounds but on a diagonal
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 to 5 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Olive oil
  • About two handfuls of parmesan cheese, grated
  • 250 grams pasta, 1/2 a standard box or package. I used pappardelle but most shapes will work.
  1. Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan or heavy-bottomed pot large enough to hold all the pasta after it is cooked. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and 2 to 3 anchovy fillets and cook until the anchovies dissolve.
  2. Add the zucchini and cook long and slow until the zucchini starts to fall apart. Add water and scrape it from the bottom if it starts to stick.
  3. In another pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and 2 anchovy fillets and cook until the anchovies dissolve and then add the tomatoes.
  4. Cook the tomatoes long and slow until the tomatoes start to fall apart.
  5. Add the tomatoes to the pan with the zucchini and combine.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente.
  7. Drain the pasta making sure to save some of the pasta water and add the pasta to the pan with the zucchini and tomatoes and mix to combine.
  8. Add a splash of pasta water and the parmesan cheese and toss to combine. There should be enough pasta water in the pan for the pasta to easily slide around.
  9. Turn the heat up while continuing to toss until the vegetables and cheese make a sauce, about 30 seconds.
  10. Plate and serve.

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