Fettuccine with Zucchini Cream Sauce
This pasta recipe was created years ago when I was harvesting summer squash from my garden. I had so much zucchini I needed to create some new and innovative ways to use it. This pasta instantly became a family favorite. Having become more health conscious through the years, I now use half the amount of cream without compromising the integrity of the dish, and add a little reserved pasta water to the sauce as needed to spread it all over the pasta. However, I decided to post the original recipe so that you can choose for yourself. This is very good with whole wheat fettuccine, but use whatever type you prefer. As for the anchovies, they add just a hint if salty, somewhat nutty flavor and are not at all 'fishy' tasting.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter, preferably unsalted
- 5 large garlic cloves, finely minced
- 6 cups grated zucchini
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 3 anchovy filets (optional, but good)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
- 1 cup heavy or whipping cream (see comments above)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 pound fettuccine, white or whole wheat
- Freshly grated Parmesan and/or Romano cheese
Heat olive oil and butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté about 1 minute. Increase temperature to medium-high. Add zucchini and sauté until tender; do not brown. There should be some moisture from cooked zucchini in pan, but not too much. Add salt, pepper and anchovies. Stir well until anchovies melt. Add wine and cook until slightly reduced. Add cream and nutmeg. Cook until reduced by about half. Add the basil and taste for additional seasoning.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water, and add to the sauce, Toss until well-combined, adding reserved pasta water if needed to coat all of the pasta. Add a little of the grated cheese and toss again. Serve immediately, passing extra grated cheese.