Use this recipe to start your own loving tradition. You can add your own touches, as the author and her friend did—such as swapping in whole-grain pasta for a nutrition boost or trying goat cheese in place of feta. If you don’t have dry vermouth on hand, you can substitute dry sherry or a dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc or unoaked Chardonnay). Or you could skip the alcohol altogether and use more chicken stock instead; stir in a teaspoon or two of white wine vinegar to balance the flavors with a little acidity.
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.
Cook the pasta al dente (1 or 2 minutes shorter than package directions specify) so it holds its shape when tossed with the vegetables and vinaigrette. Ripe for riffs, the salad is also delicious with cheese-filled tortellini.