Conchiglie Pasta with Garden Fresh Heirloom Tomatoes, Fresh Basil and Zucchini
12 oz Conchiglie (sea shell) pasta
2 small zucchini
1 small red or yellow sweet pepper or substitute 1 large carrot
2 or 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups ripe heirloom tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup The Olive Tap’s Toscana or Italiano 100% EVOO (or your favorite)
5 medium mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons sliced black olives
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/3 c. butter
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 c. whipping cream
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Bring an 8 qt. or other suitable pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add the pasta and cook till al dente. Drain the shells reserving about 1 cup of the water
While waiting for the water to boil, wash and trim the zucchini, and trim and brush off the mushrooms. Cut the zucchini and mushrooms into thin slices. Core the pepper, removing the seeds and any white pith, then slice into strips about 1/3 inch wide and 1 inch long. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté or frying pan, on medium heat, taking care not to burn the oil. Add the zucchini and red/yellow pepper to the pan and sauté about 3-5 minutes until just tender. Do not overcook! With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside in a bowl. (You can use a large serving bowl, and put the finished pasta into it later)
Add the remaining ¼ cup of oil to the pan. When hot, sauté the garlic and tomatoes for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms. Cook 3 more minutes. Add basil, black olives, salt, and black and crushed pepper; cook 1 minute more. Add the tomato-basil mixture to the vegetables in the bowl.
Melt butter in same skillet; stir in the stock and reduce for 2 or 3 minutes. Add cream and cheese. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth. If sauce is too thick, use some of the reserved pasta water. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Stir in the reserved vegetables and heat gently until hot. Put into the bowl and serve. If you wish to serve cold, allow to cool and refrigerate for at least an hour. May be made up to 1 day in advance.
Seasonally, you can use asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, fresh tender beans and peas in this recipe. Use grape or cherry tomatoes in the off season.