We just returned from another foray in the motherland of Basilicata. As always, the simplicity and freshness of the food is just fantastic. We stayed at an agriturismo where la signora prepared a fabulous meal for us, on the one evening we were able to escape la famiglia. She made this dish with freshly-made cavatelli, but as I don't make my own pasta, I am substituting packaged penne. Feel free to use any shape of fresh or dried pasta you want, though. Variety is one of the beautiful things about Italian cuisine! Signora also laid gorgeous, sweet zucchini blossoms on top but I know those are really hard to come by if you don't have your own orto (garden).
This dish is very light but delicious.
Penne (or other shape of pasta)
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large or 2 small zucchini, grated (use the larger grate)
1/2 cup cooking water from the pasta
3 to 4 leaves of basil, chopped
1-2 TBSP cream
Set the water to boil and cook the pasta. Once the pasta is nearly cooked, take out about 1/2 cup of the cooking water for the sauce. Meanwhile...
In a large skillet saute the onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil until soft. Add the zucchini shreds and saute about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss in the wine (about 1/2 cup) and simmer a few minutes. Add the reserved cooking water a little at a time, you don't want the sauce to be too thin, but the starch in the water helps "bind" the sauce. Simmer a couple of minutes, add the basil and stir in the cream. Heat through, then toss with the pasta.