This zucchini linguine calls for pasta to be tossed with summer squash, capers, garlic, pepper flakes, mint, dill, parsley, and cheese for an easy vegetarian weeknight dinner.
We just learned that the word “zucchini” comes from Italian and means “little squash.” Clearly no one has ever mentioned that to the giant gourds taking over our gardens! This recipe is a compelling destination for your vegetal abundance with herbs and fried capers amping up the gently sauteed summer squash. And luckily, just as the name zucchini applies to any size or shape of summer squash, this little stunner of a zucchini linguine recipe accommodates all size and shape of summer squash as well. You’re welcome, gardeners and farmers market goers.–Renee Schettler Rossi
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 30 M
- Serves 2
- 12 to 14 ounces zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini or summer squash), ends trimmed
- 10 1/2 ounces fresh linguine or 8 ounces (227 g) dried linguine
- Sea salt, to taste
- Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons capers, preferably salt-packed, rinsed and dried
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Pinch dried red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 1/2 ounces), diced
- 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Kefalotyri, Parmesan, or pecorino cheese
- 1. Slice the zucchini lengthwise as thinly as possible using a mandoline, a julienne peeler, or a sharp knife. Stack the slices and cut them into long strands.
- 2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until just al dente (usually a little less time than the package instructions indicate).
- 3. While the linguine is cooking, heat a glug of olive oil (as little as 1 teaspoon or as much as 1/4 cup) in a large skillet over medium heat, add the capers, and cook until crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the capers to a paper towel-lined plate, then pour another glug of oil in the pan, if needed, and cook the zucchini, garlic, and pepper flakes, if using, just until tender. (You may need to cook the zucchini in a couple batches, depending on the size of your skillet.) Remove from the heat.
- 4. Drain the linguine in a colander, reserving a little of the pasta cooking water. Return the linguine to the pot, add the zucchini mixture, the capers, herbs, and pepper, and gently toss. Add the butter, 1/4 cup reserved cooking water, and half the cheese and mix well. Taste and, if desired, season with salt. (You may want to go easy with the salt as the dish gets ample from the capers and the cheese.) Sprinkle the zucchini linguine with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.
Tuxedo and T-Shirt Variations
- Zucchini Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon
- Toss some peeled shrimp into the skillet when you’re crisping the capers and finish the pasta dish with a little freshly grated lemon zest along with the cheese or omit the cheese entirely if you prefer.
- Quicker Zucchini Linguine
- For an even quicker weeknight pasta dinner, cook the zucchini with the pasta rather than in the skillet. Just add the slices to the boiling water about 4 minutes before the linguine is due to be done.