Rigatoni with zucchini and bacon. This pasta dish really shines with its tender zucchini, smoked bacon and a vibrant super-simple tomato sauce enhanced with a touch of garlic and Parmesan. Caramelized zucchini is beyond doubt the star of the show in this weeknight dinner. It’s practically silky with a tender-crisp bite. And I guarantee, it’s just that kind of light dish you’ll want to eat throughout the summer. Extra bonus? It’s ready in about 30 minutes. —Anna Chwistek | Serving Dumplings
What You'll Need
(5.3 oz) rigatoni
(5.3 oz) smoked bacon bits
zucchini, cut into thin slices
garlic cloves, minced
small onion, finely chopped
(3.5 oz) tomato paste
(1/4 cup) grated Parmesan, more for serving
each: salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, dried thyme
chopped parsley, optional
Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon, cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet, leaving as much grease as possible in the skillet.
Add onion and garlic to the skillet, sauté over low heat until soft and fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze with 1/4 cup water and stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Simmer for 1 minute. Season with salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and dried thyme.
Add zucchini and stir to combine with onion and garlic. Sauté over medium high heat for 1 minute, then cover and cook over low heat for 8-10 minutes, or until crisp-tender.
In the meantime, cook rigatoni in a large pot of boiling, generously salted water. Cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water.
When ready, add tomato paste to zucchini. Pour in 1/2 cup cooking water and stir to combine. Add rigatoni, then gradually stir in the Parmesan until it melts into the sauce. Slide bacon back into the skillet and toss to combine. Taste and adjust salt. Finish off with some extra black pepper, red pepper flakes and parsley.
Serve with Prated Parmesan. Enjoy!