Linguine with Squash Noodles and Pine Nuts
Trying to eat healthier, but don’t want to give up your favorite carb entrées? This light pasta dish is a simple way to ease into cutting back on flour, by substituting ribbons of squash for some of the pasta. Fresh herbs and ricotta salata add flavor to this light dish. Try it with our easy pesto recipe to add an Italian twist.
Serve this balanced pasta dish with our Caprese Salad, Garlic Bread, and Tiramisu for dessert.
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 medium shallots, very thinly sliced
- 1 medium lemon, zest finely grated and juice reserved separately
- 3 medium zucchini
- 2 medium yellow squash or gold zucchini
- 12 ounces linguine
- 1/2 cup chopped assorted fresh herbs (use a mixture of chives, parsley, chervil, tarragon, and basil), plus more for garnish
- 2 1/2 ounces ricotta salata cheese, finely shredded or grated (about 1 cup), plus extra shavings for garnish
1Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat, add pine nuts, and toast, shaking the pan occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove nuts from the pan and set aside.
2Heat butter and oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When butter foams, add shallots and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Stir in toasted pine nuts and lemon zest, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and remove from heat.
3Trim ends off of zucchini and yellow squash. Using a julienne peeler or a mandoline, cut the skin and first layer of flesh from each squash in long ribbons, or “noodles.” (You should have about 3 cups.) Alternatively, you can use a knife to slice the skin and first layer of flesh off each side of the squash (creating four 1/8-inch-thick slices), and then julienne each piece into 1/8-inch-wide ribbons. Reserve remaining squash for another use.
4Cook linguine according to the package directions. When about 1 minute of cooking time remains, add squash noodles to the pot. When linguine is cooked and squash is tender, drain well in a colander and then return to the empty pot.
5Add shallot mixture, lemon juice, herbs, and 1/2 of the grated cheese. Season with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper and toss well. Transfer pasta to a serving platter and garnish with more fresh herbs and cheese shavings. Pass extra cheese on the side.
Beverage pairing: A delicious but inexpensive white composed of varying percentages of Viognier, Grenache Blanc, and Clairette from the South of France would provide just enough body to stand up to the pasta and ricotta salata, and the freshness and delicate herbal qualities present in some of the best examples would complement the zucchini and pine nut components of this dish. Try the 2005 Côtes du Rhône Blanc La Bastide Saint Dominique.
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