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Let's Eat

Conchiglioni with zucchini and cherry tomatoes

(Ike DeLorenzo for The Boston Globe)
July 14, 2010

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Serves 4

Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 pound imported Italian conchiglioni (large pasta shells)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 small (1 pound) young zucchini, quartered lengthwise, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound (1 1/2 pints) small cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/3 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
Wedge of Parmesan, shaved (for serving)

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the conchiglioni for 10 minutes or according to package directions, until it is tender but still has some bite. Dip a heatproof measuring cup into the pasta cooking water and remove 1/4 cup.

2. Drain the pasta into a colander; do not rinse.

3. In a pan large enough to hold all the pasta later, heat the olive oil. Add the zucchini and cherry tomatoes. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 7 minutes or until the zucchini is just becoming tender. Add the garlic, lemon rind, and red pepper. Stir another 2 minutes.

4. Add the pasta cooking water, stir gently, and turn the heat to high for 1 minute. The mixture will thicken as the water evaporates. Add the conchiglioni and toss gently until it is hot. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and bread crumbs. Serve with shaved Parmesan.

Ike DeLorenzo

Let's eat
Conchiglioni with Zucchini and Cherry TomatoesTender zucchini, Italian-style
In Florence, tender zucchini is sliced into chunks and sauteed along with the flower in olive oil with a single crushed tomato for color and flavor. Variations are as infinite as the regions where it grows (everywhere) and the cooks living there.