My favorite preparation of zucchini is thinly sliced and sauteed with garlic and olive oil. Throw in a pinch of red pepper flakes and there is no simpler, tastier side dish. I throw this—and sometimes add a handful of cherry tomatoes in to the saute pan for that juice burst—over spaghetti. A generous grating of Parmesan makes this meal go down very easily.
Ingredients (for one pound of pasta):
Olive oil, a couple/few tablespoons or a big glug
3 cloves garlic, smashed with the flat part of a chef’s knife
4 small zucchini (or 2 big), mandolined or thinly sliced
A handful of cherry tomatoes
Salt, pepper, Parmesan to taste
Red pepper flakes optional
1 egg beaten
Boil pasta water, add salt. In the meantime, in a 10-inch skillet, saute garlic in enough oil so they don’t burn, about 3 minutes. Start adding zucchini in a few batches. As they cook down, there will be room for all; add tomatoes if you want at this point. Move them around until they are all cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes if you want, more oil if the pan is getting dry.
When you pull the pasta off, reserve about a half-cup of starchy water. When you pour pasta into a bowl, add beat egg immediately, add a bit of pasta water and then mix in your zucchini saute. Serve with fresh parmesan and a turn of pepper.