Pasta with Crema de Zucchini
This is one of my all time personal favorite recipes and a fan favorite. I got the idea from a restaurant I used to work at where the chef made a zucchini soup using all of his extra zucchini. I remember how absolutely delicious it was and I did my best to imitate it based on my memory of his preparation. It amazes me how rich and creamy this gets without any milk or dairy added at all. It's one of the most delicious dishes I've ever made.
Total time: 45 minutes
Difficulty: Wicked easy
1 extra large zucchini or 2 large zucchini, roughly chopped into large dice
1 small-medium yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mixed herbs (before chopping)- I used fresh basil, rosemary, and oregano
1/2 - 1 cup olive oil
Parmesan to serve with pasta
Let's do it!
- In a large saucepan or dutch oven liberally coated with olive oil, cook zucchini and onion over medium high heat for 6 - 10 minutes.
- Add garlic, herbs, and a little more olive oil, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer covered for at least 20 minutes, stirring regularly. The longer you simmer this, the better! The chef I originally saw make it simmered it for 4 - 5 hours, but for the sake of an easy, quick meal, 20 minutes is plenty!
- While that is simmering, prepare your pasta of choice. I like rotini or ziti for this.
- Remove from heat and let stand at least 10 minutes to cool, then transfer to a blender, add a little more olive oil and puree until smooth with the cover to the blender slightly open to allow airflow. You can also add a little water to get your sauce to your desired consistency, I like it to be like a thick alfredo texture.
- Note: It's very important when you're blending a hot liquid to leave an opening in the covering of the blender to allow air to enter or your blender could overheat and cause an explosion. I often just cover the blender 3/4 of the way with the blender lid or a heavy towel.