Zucchini Tomato Sauce with Fat Spaghetti

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1/4 cup EVOO

3 small, firm zucchini, seeded and chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup dry red or white wine

One 28- to 32-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes

1 cup passata or tomato sauce

A few leaves fresh basil, torn

1 pound pici or bucatini pasta

2 tablespoons butter

Grated Pecorino cheese (tangy) or Parmigiano-Reggiano (buttery, nutty)


  1. Heat a Dutch oven or pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and lightly brown a few minutes. Then add the onion, garlic, chile and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper and cook 7 to 8 minutes more. Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the wine, then add the tomatoes and passata. Stir in the basil and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes more. Cool and store. Reheat over medium heat.
  2. To serve, bring a large pot of pasta water to a boil, salt the water and cook the pasta until al dente. (Save a cup of the starchy cooking water.) Drain the pasta and toss it with the butter, half the sauce, 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water and some cheese. Serve in shallow bowls and top with more sauce and cheese. Use more of the starchy pasta water to loosen up the pasta if it gets tight.