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Creamy Rotini with Zucchini, Tomato, and Red Pepper

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Serves 2 to 4

  • by Julissa Roberts from Fine Cooking
    Issue 118

The season’s most plentiful vegetables come together in this satisfying pasta dish. To make it even heartier, try adding diced grilled chicken.

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 ripe Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1-3/4 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano finely grated with a rasp (3/4 cup); more for serving
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
  • 1 lb. rotini, or other short corkscrew pasta

Bring an 8-quart pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, garlic, 2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are barely tender, about 7 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream and simmer until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes. Stir in the cheese, basil, and lemon zest.

Meanwhile, boil the pasta according to package directions until al dente.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Pour in the sauce and toss until the pasta is evenly coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle with additional cheese, and serve.

Serving Suggestions

For dessert, indulge in Ice Cream with a Cherry Caramel Sauce.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 670; Fat (g): 39; Fat Calories (kcal): 350; Saturated Fat (g): 21; Protein (g): 17; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13; Carbohydrates (g): 65; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): 790; Cholesterol (mg): 120; Fiber (g): 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Not bad, but not flavorful enough to make again. The pasta and veggies probably would be tastier on their own with only some garlic and red pepper flakes sauteed in some olive oil. The cream and lemon didn't add much.

I put this together using some leftover grilled zucchini and red pepper. Also threw in some spinach. Liked it! Would make again.

I put this together using some leftover grilled zucchini and red pepper. Also through in some spinach. Liked it! Would make again.

I love this recipe! I make it all the time, it is quick, easy, and a crowd pleaser! I use extra garlic and add extra veggies like broccoli and squash. To really make it hearty and delicious add meat, I recommend hot italian sausage. Gives it a great flavor! To make a healthy version use whole wheat noodles, turkey sausage, and fat free half and half (or go extra healthy and skip the cream all together). Love it! I make this version once every two weeks! Great leftovers.

It was okay but a bit bland.

Delicious! Loved this simple and tasty recipe, full of summer veggies. My husband had three helpings. Will definitely be making it again.

Great quick and easy dish for a summer day.

Fantastically easy recipe. Very fresh and sweet. Loved it!

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