Cutting the zucchini into strips and cooking them until they're tender but still holding their shape allows them to twist and turn around the fusilli, clinging to the noodles like sauce. In addition, the pine nuts add richness to the plate, which—like all good pasta dishes—tastes greater than the sum of its parts. Prep and Cook Time: 40 minutes.
Sunset SEPTEMBER 2007
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, trim and discard ends of zucchini. Cut each zucchini into 3- to 4-in. lengths; cut each length into 1/4- to 1/2-in.-thick matchsticks and set aside. Chop garlic and set aside. Cut basil leaves into thin ribbons and set aside.
2. In a large frying pan over medium heat, toast pine nuts, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. In the same pan, melt 1 tbsp. butter with 2 tsp. olive oil. Increase heat to high and add half of the zucchini and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook zucchini, stirring frequently, until soft and browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer zucchini to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving as much of the butter and oil in the pan as possible. Repeat with remaining zucchini and 1/4 tsp. salt. Remove frying pan from heat and reserve.
3. Add remaining 1 tbsp. salt and fusilli to boiling water and cook until pasta is tender to the bite, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
4. Meanwhile, heat reserved frying pan over medium-high heat, add remaining 1 tsp. olive oil and the chopped garlic, and cook until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add reserved zucchini and pine nuts. Cook, stirring, until well combined. Add zucchini mixture and reserved basil to cooked fusilli and toss to combine. Add 1/2 cup parmesan and remaining 1 tbsp. butter. Toss until butter melts and everything is well combined. Divide among 6 plates or pasta bowls. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup parmesan and serve immediately.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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