Shells with fried zucchini

As I mentioned before, we’ve had a run on zucchinis in our garden. Fortunately, we’re both big fans.

We’ve both been working hard lately, so my normally attentive grocery shopping has been non-existent this week, leaving us with a limited selection of ingredients. Thankfully we had just harvested some zucchini, we always have pasta in the pantry and peas in the freezer, and the fridge yielded parmesan cheese and bacon. And of course we always have fresh basil growing right outside our door in the summer months.

So here’s a fresh-tasting, summer-appropriate pasta dish that was easy to make and left us both wanting more.

What you’ll need for two people:

  • 1 cup of zucchini cubes, about a 1/4-inch each
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 cup of dry pasta shells
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese

What to do:

  1. Fry four piece of bacon in a non-stick skillet. While you’re frying the bacon (I prefer to use a bacon press to keep the pieces nice and flat), get a pot of salted water boiling. Use as much water as possible.
  2. While the bacon is frying and the water is coming to a boil, coat the zucchini cubes in all-purpose flour, shaking off any excess.
  3. When the bacon is done, remove it from the pan and set on paper towels to drain.
  4. Fry the zucchini cubes in the remaining bacon fat over medium heat, turning often. You’ll want to get them golden brown and crispy.
  5. When the water is boiling, prepare the pasta as directed on the package. With two minutes remaining on the boiling time, add the frozen peas to the water.
  6. Reserve at least 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and peas.
  7. Quickly stir in the parmesan cheese with the drained pasta, adding back the reserved water (you probably won’t need all of it) until it creates a thick sauce.
  8. Chop the bacon and add it to the pasta along with the fried zucchini and the basil. Salt and pepper to taste, and add some freshly grated parmesan over the top before serving.

Related posts:

  1. Mac ‘n cheese with bacon
  2. Summer squash and zucchini gratin
  3. Quick and Easy Sopa Noodles
  4. Fried sous vide egg yolk salad
  5. Asian Stir Fried Noodles

About the Author

Owner of a graphic design firm specializing in magazine design and wannabe chef. Former resident of Belgium, the United Kingdom and...North Dakota.