This may be the best pasta dish I’ve ever made. You won’t miss the meat at all, I promise. The pasta is full of flavor with beefy baby portabello mushrooms, grated zucchini, and freshly grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese. Seriously, I could have eaten the whole thing in one sitting. I ate about half…Self control.
Anyway, make this pasta. It’s delicious.
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large zucchini grated, using the larger grating slots on a box grater
3 cloves of garlic finely minced
10-12 baby portabello mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and thinly sliced
1/2 pound of penne pasta (or another short pasta)
1/2 cup of pasta water reserved (water used to cook the pasta in)
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving (preferable freshly grated)
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes (I like things hot)
salt and pepper
1. In a large pot, boil water for pasta. When the water comes to a boil, add in a good amount of salt, and then add the penna pasta. Cook according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, Grate the zucchini, and wrap in a clean dish cloth. Squeeze the zucchini in the dish cloth to remove most of the water. A couple of good squeezes should do the trick.
3. In a large skillet, heat 1/3 cup olive oil over medium heat.
4. Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic to the skillet and sautee for 2 minutes, stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn.
5. Add the zucchini to the garlic and oil and sautee for 5 minutes.
6. Once the pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water and set to the side. Drain the pasta and set to the side as well.
7. After the zucchini has coooked for 5 minutes with the garlic and oil, add the sliced baby portabello mushrooms to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sautee the vegetables for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through.
8. Add the drained penne pasta to the pan, and start by adding 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. Mix well. If the pasta looks dry, add the rest of the pasta water to the pan, but you probably will only need 1/4 cup.
9. Remove the pan from the heat and add in 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or however much you like). Toss well.
10. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and sprinkle with some additional grated parmesan.