Only a week ago I was sitting in a trattoria in the colorful Roman neighborhood of Trastevere, sipping a glass of chilled rosé, and tucking into a plate of homemade ravioli. My husband and I had just just spent two lovely weeks in Italy in celebration of our upcoming 20th wedding anniversary. The journey took us from tiny villages in southern Tuscany down to Pompeii and then the Amalfi Coast, and back to one of our favorite cities, Rome. It was a wonderful trip filled with delicious food and wine, museums, ruins, rolling Tuscan hills and the Mediterranean sea, farm and winery visits and gelato. Lots of gelato.
In case you find that image too perfect, I’ll share that while I was enjoying the rosé, it was over 100 degrees fahrenheit outside, and I was literally trying to keep from sweating into my food. We had 14 nonstop days of weather like that. Feel better?
Little did we know when we planned the trip, we’d be there in the middle of one of the worst heat waves in recorded history. That notwithstanding, we ate well at almost every meal and the one thing which rang true for me over and over was the old idea that “simple is better.” The best meals we had were often the ones with minimal ingredients and preparation; fresh pasta with a little butter and shaved truffles, steamed clams with white wine and garlic, anchovies and octopus fresh from the sea.
This pasta recipe is just that simple and a great way to use up some of that summer squash everyone has this time of year. Use any kind of pasta you want, fresh or dried, dice up some zucchini, add your butter, garlic, sage and cheese, and ecco, you’re done!
Heat a large saute pan and add the oil. Add in the diced zucchini and saute for 2 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute for 1 minute more.
Add in half the cut sage and stir to combine. Add the butter, allow to melt, and then add in the cooked pasta and 3/4 of the cheese, tossing to coat with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and then plate.
Garnish with the remaining sliced sage and cheese.