Penne Rigate with Zucchini, Capers and Fresh Mint

Penne Rigate with Zucchini, Capers and Fresh Mint ©2006 Viviane BauquetFarre – food & style

Serves 4 as a Main Course and 6 as a First Course
Course: Entrees
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: healthy entrée recipe, Vegetarian


  • 12 oz Penne Rigate (preferably De Cecco or Martelli)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt for the pasta water
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 baby zucchini, washed and ends trimmed, cut in ¼” cubes
  • Zest of ½ lemon, peel zest using a potato handpeeler and slice in 1/16” julienne strips
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ c vegetable broth in carton (preferably Pacific brandin aspetic package) or cooking water from pasta
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, cut in julienne strips
  • 6 oz fresh goat cheese
  • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil as garnish


  • Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil
  • Heat a large heavy-bottomed skilletover high heat. Add the olive oil and zucchini, and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes,until the zucchini begins to brown. Add the lemon zest and continue to sautéfor 1 minute until crisp. Add the capers, lemon juice, salt and pepper totaste. Mix well and set aside.
  • When the water is boiling, add 1tbsp of salt and the pasta. Cook pasta according to package instructions, untiltender but still al dente. Drain and shake off the excess water.
  • Return the skillet to the stove andheat over high heat. When the sauce begins to sizzle, quickly add the pasta,broth or reserved pasta water and fresh mint. Toss well, until the pasta iswell coated with the sauce and remove from heat.
  • Spoon in pasta bowls, crumble thefresh goat cheese in the center, drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil andfreshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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