The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Deliciously Light Penne with Zucchini, Mint, and Lemon

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Level: Easy

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Description

This recipe is a happy medium between indulgent and healthy as it brings together comforting pasta with a healthy combination of zucchini, mint, and lemon. I absolutely love this combination and it is super fast to put together. Just my kind of meal on a busy weeknight.

Ingredients

  • 3 whole Zucchini
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Fresh Lemon Zest
  • 1 bunch Mint, Leaves Only, Torn
  • 1 pound Penne Pasta
  • Salt And Pepper

Preparation

Put on a large pot of water to boil.

Cut zucchini into matchstick pieces. I usually cut the zucchini into thirds or fourths, then make long slices and put them into a stack and cut through them horizontally to make the matchstick size pieces.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add crushed garlic as the oil is heating up. When the garlic just starts to color around the edges, remove from the skillet. Add zucchini to skillet and cook for a few minutes until just tender. Make sure not to overcook it so the zucchini does not get mushy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Towards the very end of cooking, add lemon zest and torn mint leaves.

Meanwhile, cook pasta 1 minute less than what it says on the package. Before draining, reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water.

Add drained pasta to the zucchini. Add a little of the pasta water and stir to combine. Add salt to taste and a good dose of crushed black pepper.

I like to serve this pasta with a good dusting of freshly grated Parmesan or Grana Padano. If you like a sharper, saltier taste, you could also use Pecorino Romano.

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