Friday, September 21, 2012

Pasta with Zucchini in Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce

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Still looking for some creative ways to use up your garden zucchini?  Try this recipe out!

Pasta with Zucchini and Lemon Cream Sauce

1 lb pasta, cooked according to package directions
(today we have pipette pasta by Barilla)

Their shape is somewhat similar to macaroni, but the tube is wider and bends in the middle, just like a pipe!

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1 large zuchini, diced into small cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper flakes, optional

For the Zucchini Sautee:
Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
Add olive oil and garlic, and heat until garlic is golden and fragrant.
Add in crushed red pepper if using.
Next, toss in the diced zucchini, and stir to coat with olive oil and garlic.
Add Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper, to taste.
Sautee 8-10 minutes, or until soft but not mushy

For the sauce:
2 cups water
1/2 cup raw cashews
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tahini
Juice and zest of 1 1/2 lemons

Combine all the ingredients above into a blender, and blend until super smooth, and no bits of nuts remain. If you have a decent blender, there is no need to soak the cashews for this sauce.  My blender is an Oster, nothing fancy like a Vitamix or Blendtec, and it handles raw nuts quite well.
Pour the blended liquid into a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.  Be sure to whisk continuously.  Reduce to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until thickened.

*SHORTCUT: I have been experimenting with microwaving sauces and gravies at 1 minute, 30 second intervals to thicken them, instead of simmering on the stove.  I use my pyrex 4 cup glass measuring cup which is microwave safe , and holds a good amount of liquid. My microwave is weak, so I start out at 1 minute 30 seconds, to get the mixture hot, (sometimes it doesn't always get there, but sometimes it does) and then do 30 second increments from there, whisking in between, until the sauce is thick.  

It worked like a charm with this sauce, and it left me free to sautee the zucchini on the stove, without having to constantly whisk the sauce.

Pasta should be boiling at this point, in plenty of salted water.  Drain pasta and place in a serving bowl.

Pour thickened lemon sauce over cooked pasta and gently mix, then top with your garlicky, sauteed zucchini.  
Enjoy ^_^

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