Monday, July 7, 2008

Lemon-Spinach-Zucchini Linguine

It's getting to be the time of year to cook greens at any opportunity. This simple pasta dish features fresh spinach and zucchini, tossed with a good-quality linguine I spent a little extra on. It was worth it, though I usually opt for cheaper pasta that doesn't pretend to emulate the hand-made stuff. Anyway, the very lightly cooked vegetables are finished with a liberal amount of lemon juice, making the dish a refreshing option on summer days when extensive cooking isn't going to happen.

Lemon-Spinach-Zucchini Linguine (isn't that fun to say?)
1/2 pound linguine noodles
1 bunch (10 ounces or so) fresh spinach leaves, cleaned and stems removed
1 smallish zucchini, sliced lengthwise and thinly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil

1. Cook the pasta in lightly salted water. Meanwhile, saute the minced garlic in just enough olive oil to coat your pan, over a medium flame.

2. Add zucchini to the garlic saute, and cook for about a minute. Add the spinach leaves, and cook just until wilted. Stir frequently to speed the wilting of the leaves. There is no reason to overcook these - in fact, this would work just fine raw, but I like what happens when the veggies cook a little in good olive oil.

3. When your linguine is al dente, drain it. Add the noodles to your frying pan (which should be off the heat by now), and toss to evenly distribute the spinach and zucchini. Finish by mixing in the lemon juice, and feel free to add a little more olive oil too right before serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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