I am lucky to be married to someone with whom I am culinarily compatible. Mike and I eagerly await the arrival of garlic scapes in our CSA and agree that cheese curds are the ultimate State Fair food. Our favorite cuisine is Ethiopian, and we firmly believe that quality ice cream is always worth the extra money (for Mike, it's vanilla Häagen Dazs, for me it's local ice cream shops like Sebastian Joe's or Adele's Frozen Custard). However, there are some things that we have to agree to disagree about. Mike is much more of an omnivore than I am, and he has an inexplicable fondness for tater tot hotdish. I love kale chips, while he thinks they're disgusting. But the best example of our divergent tastes is zucchini.
I love zucchini, to the point where I think about it with longing during the off season. Raw, sauteed in olive oil, added to pasta--it's one of my favorite vegetables from our CSA. In the unlikely event that I ever have a garden (since I struggle to remember to water my houseplants, I doubt that I could manage to actually grow food), it will consist almost entirely of zucchini. At the point where any rational person would throw up her hands, overwhelmed by the abundance of zucchini and clueless as to what to do with it all, I would be dancing among the bounty while gnawing at a freshly picked raw zucchini.
Mike, on the other hand, is ambivalent. His attitude towards zucchini is that it is a bland ingredient to be used up and definitely not something to get excited about. So while I consider Linguine with Zucchini and Chickpeas to be one of my all-time favorite recipes, Mike thinks of it as a utilitarian weeknight dinner. Regardless of where you fall on the zucchini spectrum, this is a quick vegetarian recipe for weeknights, with a nice heartiness from the chickpeas.
Adapted from the Real Simple recipe by Kate Merker
- 12 ounces linguine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 small zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch thick half moons (about 5 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add zucchini and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes. Add chickpeas, garlic, and red pepper, and cook until chickpeas are warm, about 3 minutes.
Divide cooked pasta into four portions, and top each with the zucchini mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan before serving.