Zucchini Papardelle – lactose-free/vegan

Photo provided by Studio E Imaging

1 pint red cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil for cooking plus 1/4 cup for frying basil leaves for garnish
1 sprig fresh thyme
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons basil plus 12 large leaves for garnish
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, for finishing the dish
6 medium zucchinis
sea salt for finishing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine cherry tomatoes, garlic, 4 tablespoons olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Toss well. Place in an oven-proof sauté pan. Place in oven and let cook for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes blister and begin to soften. Remove from the oven and take out thyme sprig. Cool slightly and then add 4 tablespoons chopped basil. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a shallow pan. Once shimmering, add remaining basil leaves a few at a time and fry until translucent. Dry on paper towels and reserve for garnish.

Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of kosher salt. Warm the cherry tomato sauce. Slice zucchini lengthwise into 1/8-inch thick slices and place in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Cook the zucchini slices in the rapidly boiling water for no longer than 1 minute. If slices are thinner than 1/8-inch, cook for 30 to 45 seconds. Strain zucchini immediately and divide evenly between six bowls. Spoon cherry tomato sauce over the zucchini and finish with a drizzle of finishing olive oil and the crispy fried basil leaves.

For those who aren’t vegan, add dusting of finely shaved parmesan. Serve immediately.