Not everyone gets excited about cooking with zucchini, but I do. Sadly, I do not have a garden this year, but I scored some great zucchini at the farmers’ market and wanted to share one of my favorite ways to prepare zucchini with pasta. I like making a simple zucchini and angle hair pasta dish with an olio sauce, but sometimes life calls for a little more spice. I designed this recipe for two, but it very easy to double if you’d like to feed more. Plus, it keeps nicely overnight and is delicious as a cold dish the following day. Trust me – I had leftovers for lunch yesterday!
Ingredients for Adobo Chipotle Zucchini Pasta
- Zucchini! You can use as little or as much as you’d like, but I think 1 medium zucchini works fine for two people. I used only half a zucchini because I had a huge zucchini.
- About 1 teaspoon of salt.
- 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
- 1 clove of garlic, or an equivalent amount of pre-minced garlic (more or less to taste).
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
- Two servings of your favorite noodles.
- Your favorite cheese for topping (I suggest mozzarella or parmesan).
I used penne noodles in the example because I like how the zucchini and peppers cling to them, but this also works really well with fine noodles, like angle hair or thing spaghetti. You’re the one eating it – use whatever noodles you prefer!
Adobo Zucchini Recipe
1. Wash your zucchini, don’t bother to peel it, and then grate it.
2. Place the grated zucchini in colander, sprinkle with salt, and set aside. Make sure it is over a bowl or in the sink because it will drain!
3. While the zucchini is draining, prepare the pasta according to the box’s directions. You can proceed with the other steps in the recipe, just make sure to drain the noodles and give them a light coating of olive oil whenever they’re finished cooking.
4. Mince the garlic, or just use pre-minced garlic, if you’d prefer. You can always use more or less garlic to suit your taste! I actually used about two clove’s worth, but I once got in a raw garlic eating contest with a coworker.
5. Chop or cut the chipotle peppers. I find them easiest to deal with using a pair of kitchen shears. You may want to cut one or two of them open before chopping them to remove their seeds. If you leave the seeds in all three, the final dish will be very hot!
6. After at least 15 minutes have passed, press the zucchini gently to remove water. You can grab handfuls of it and squeeze it, or even use paper towels to take up moisture, if you’d like.
7. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat, until it is shimmering.
8. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is fragrant. This should probably take 2-3 minutes.
9. Add in the zucchini, stir thoroughly to coat with oil, and then spread it out as evenly as possible. Add freshly cracked black pepper, to taste. Stir occasionally, making sure not to let it burn, and cook for at least 4-5 minutes. If, at the end of this time, you can visibly see bubbling liquid, continue cooking until this liquid has steamed off.
10. Stir in the chipotle peppers and continue cooking for 1-2 additional minutes.
11. Stir in the drained noodles, throughly coating them with the zucchini/pepper mixture and re-warming the noodles, if necessary.
12. Remove from heat, plate, and top with cheese.
13. Serve and enjoy!
Do you like zucchini? What’s your favorite way to cook it up?