Recipe: Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini and Pistachios

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    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 2 1/4 cups thinly sliced zucchini
    • 2 1/3 cups split cherry tomatoes
    • sea salt
    • 14 ounces short pasta (Marilena uses schiaffoni, stubby wide tubes)
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
    • 1/3 cup chopped Bronte pistachio nuts**
    • 2 Tablespoons chopped basil
    • freshly ground black pepper Put 2 tablespoons extra virgin in a skillet and sauté the garlic. When it barely begins to sizzle, add the zucchini. Cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes, stirring, until the zucchini become somewhat transparent. Add the cherry tomato halves, lightly salt and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.

Cook pasta in 5-6 quarts (5-6 liters) of salted boiling water until al dente, drain and add to the sauce in the skillet. Heat pasta and sauce together, and then add around 1/2 a cup pasta cooking water, half the parmigiano, pistachio nuts, black pepper, and basil. Mix well. Remove from heat, dress with 2 tablespoons extra virgin, and serve, sprinkling portions with remaining parmigiano.

**Pistachio nuts from the village of Bronte, on the slopes of Mt. Etna, are known to be Italy's finest. Get the best pistachio nuts you can.

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Faith Willinger is a chef, author, and born-again Italian. She moved to Italy in 1973 and has spent over 30 years searching for the best food from the Alps to Sicily. More

Faith Heller Willinger is a born-again Italian. She moved to Italy in 1973 and was seduced by Italian regional cooking. Faith has spent more than 30 years searching for the best food and wine, as well as the world beyond the table from the Alps to Sicily. She has no regrets about mileage or calories. Faith was awarded the prestigious San Pellegrino award for outstanding work as an ambassador of Italian cooking. She lives full-time in Florence with her Tuscan husband, Massimo. Her son Max lives in Milan. She's the author of the bestselling (9th printing) guidebook Eating in Italy, the cookbook Red, White & Greens, and the narrative recipe book Adventures of an Italian Food Lover. Faith teaches in her kitchen in Florence on Wednesdays, supplied with freshly picked produce from her favorite farmers. Check out her web site at www.faithwillinger.com.
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