Sauteed pasta is one of my basic go-to dishes that I cook when I need to prepare something in a hurry. That is why I always keep some dried pastas in my pantry, with dried spaghetti being the staple.
While most of the fresh ingredients in this sautéed pasta can be easily changed or omitted, good quality olive oil and fresh garlic are absolute must. Pine nuts, on the other hand, are optional. I added pine nuts only because I have too many packs of pine nuts, for which I blame loyalty programs and hungry shopping. I do not usually toast the pine nuts for my sautéed pasta. I find the pine nuts perfectly digestible and delicious, when they are pale, slightly soggy and mildly crunchy as opposed to golden brown and crunchy toasted pine nuts.
I absolutely love cooking sautéed pasta because it can be prepared and cooked in less than half an hour. And, since it is much less acidic than tomato-sauce-based pastas and less rich than creamy pastas, it is suitable for the days when I do not feel 100%. Costing a little less than $4 per serve, this sautéed pasta dish also beats takeaways.
Sautéed Pasta with Zucchini, Pine Nuts and Bacon
300g spaghetti, linguini or fettucine
2 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
175g bacon, discard visible fats, chopped
2-3 Tbsp pine nuts
500g/4-5 zucchinis, sliced
1 small brown onion, sliced thinly
Freshly milled black pepper to taste
Grated parmesan cheese to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta. Cook it for 2 minutes less than the recommended cooking time. Drain and reserve some of the pasta cooking water.
Place olive oil and garlic on a large, deep pan (I use my casserole pan for this) and heat them over medium-high heat until fragrant.
Add the bacon and sautee for about 5 minutes or until cooked. Add the pine nuts and stir for another 3 minutes or so. Add the zucchini and onion. Season with black pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes, taking care to not overcook the zucchini.
Stir in the drained pasta and some of the cooking water. Stir for about 2 minutes. Serve immediately with some parmesan cheese.