Penne with Zucchini and Mushrooms. This pasta dish incorporates vibrantly green zucchini and earthy mushrooms, combined with some garlic, olive oil, white truffle oil, and a bite of spicy chili flakes. Finished with the usual generous grating of Parmigiano and a sprinkle of parsley.
There has never been a food that is more versatile than pasta, you can create endless possibilities according to your taste, what's left in your fridge, or trying your hand at traditional recipes. It is always a welcome dish in our home and with spring in the air, making light vegetarian pasta dishes that are healthy and tasteful, is easy and comforting.
[This post was first published on April 21, 2015, and it has been updated for photos and writing]
Song suggestion: "You Should Be Dancing" by The BeeGees.
How I made this recipe
My take on a fresh pasta dish incorporating vibrantly green zucchini and succulent earthy mushrooms, combined with the pungent nature of garlic and a bite of spicy chili flakes, not forgetting about that lovely bite of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano! Healthy things do taste good!
The shopping list:
- Good quality Penne pasta
- Chili flakes
- E.V.O. oil
- Parmigiano Reggiano
- Fresh Parsley
The Pasta Process:
- Firstly prep is in order, this will make cooking this dish so enjoyable. Chop everything up and get that oil, garlic, chili flakes into the pan to do a flavor waltz together.
- Secondly, saute those onions to release some of that incredible sweetness to the pot.
- Thirdly in goes the mushrooms and when they start to soften a bit in goes the wine and we let that evaporate but the flavor is sealed into the pan. Time to taste for seasoning and I like truffle oil so I let a few drops into the pan and stir. Remember, with truffle oil a little dab will do ya!
Always love finishing pasta in the saucepan
- Fourthly get a pot of salted water on boil and do not add any oil to the water. Consequently, that would not allow this lovely simple veggie mix to attach itself to the pasta for incredible flavor. Cook the pasta for the time allocated on the package but pull it out a minute or so before and finish it in the pan. Reserve some of that pasta water because we want to add it to the pan after to create a light and very tasty sauce, with a dusting of Parmigiano and fresh chopped parsley!
We would like to hear your feedback on cooking pasta, do you like to finish the pasta in the pan or do you like when it is put in a serving dish with the sauce (whatever it is, white or red) on top?
- Lastly, time to plate this dish and another little bit of Parmigiano and parsley. However, I also like to finish with a little olive oil. I am really loving the look of this dish and the aroma is amazing. I love that really rich earthiness of the mushroom and truffle oil combination. While in contrast, the rich pungent aroma of the Parmigiano balances the aromas. The end results, "napkin please!".
There is nothing like that aged flavor of a good Parmigiano Reggiano, and the earthiness of the extra virgin olive oil and finally a splash of color from the parsley, to finish the dish. We love Parmigiano so much that we usually put it on dishes that traditionally would not call for it. That's not the case for this pasta because it compliments the flavors and tastes so good.
Better taste it just because
The pasta is perfect. A nice toothy bite and the best part is this sauce created with the oil, chili flakes, garlic, zucchini, and mushrooms plus the truffle oil. Absolutely amazing. My taste buds are jumping. There is sweet, spicy, acidity, earthy, and a richness that is a joyous flavor town chorus in my mouth!
We paired this dish with a beautiful Chardonnay White from Nardelli Wines.
It is tough these days. Our normal routine and freedom have been squeezed and revamped. Many hours spent at home, lack of socialization, however, there are also positives like:
- Spending more time with family
- Cooking really good food
- Diversifying and making the best of a situation is commendable
- Remember to smile, laugh, and maybe take out those disco shoes and outfits and let Saturday Night fever, lol
Happy Spring and stay safe and healthy!