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Spaghetti with Spring Vegetables

kept byVeggieLover
recipe byCooks Country

We streamlined this Italian American favorite by using fewer dishes and paring down the number of vegetables called for. By overcooking zucchini, we were able to create a sauce with a silky texture that nicely coated our favorite spring vegetables (asparagus and peas). Spaghetti proved itself the most worthy choice in a lineup of its pasta peers, and cherry tomatoes that we marinated briefly (a tip we picked up from a legendary old-school New York City chef) finished off our dish with a lively lilt.

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Serves 4 to 6
6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 small garlic clove, minced, plus 4 cloves, sliced thin
Salt and pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut on bias into 1-inch lengths
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
¼ cup minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons torn fresh mint leaves

The zucchini slices will break down as they cook and create a base for the sauce; do not be alarmed when the slices turn soft and creamy and lose their shape. The test kitchen’s favorite spaghetti is De Cecco Spaghetti No. 12.

1. Toss tomatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in bowl; set aside.

2. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Drain pasta and return it to pot.

3. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add zucchini, pepper flakes, sliced garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, covered, until zucchini softens and breaks down, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add asparagus, peas, and 3/4 cup water and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.

4. Add vegetable mixture, chives, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pasta and toss to combine. Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle with Pecorino, and drizzle with extra oil. Spoon tomatoes and their juices over top and sprinkle with mint. Serve, passing extra Pecorino separately.



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