Summer is the time when I embrace pasta loaded with fresh vegetables. Fresh zucchini, tomatoes, basil- yes please! I love how zucchini and tomatoes are so versatile. You can cook, roast, grill, or even leave them raw! And they taste so dang good. Needless to say, they are the perfect addition to any summer meal. Boursin is one of my favorite, very rare indulgences. My mom introduced it to me as a kid, and ever since, I have been hooked. It is so creamy, seasoned with my favorite herbs and garlic. It's like the upgraded version times 100 of cream cheese and chive dip. My dad always served chive dip with crackers and carrots when I was a kid- it was my all-time favorite snack. (He now serves that to my kids as a snack when they visit and they totally love it.) So, when I saw this recipe that has melted Boursin cheese with pasta and fresh veggies, I put it on the weekly menu immediately. No questions asked.
My husband, who isn't a big cheese person still enjoyed this dish, but definitely not to the extent that I did. Maybe even boarder-line obsession. I can't help it, I love cheese! The Boursin cheese melted when mixed into the pasta dish, so it covered everything. Swoon! This is a wonderful dish to incorporate fresh summer vegetables and your love of cheese all into one, easy meal! The perfect week-night meal.
Penne with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Boursin Cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 lb. zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced about 1/2-inch thick
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb. penne pasta
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 (5.2 oz.) package Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Adjust an oven rack 4 inches from broiler element and heat broiler to high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil and brush with 1 tablespoon of oil. Toss zucchini in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon oil, season with salt and pepper, then spread evenly onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Place in the oven and broil, stirring occasionally until lightly brown around the edges but still firm in the center, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, bring 4-quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to the pot.
Add the tomatoes, Boursin cheese, and 1/4 cup reserved cooking water to the pasta and toss well to combine. Carefully stir in the zucchini, basil and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add remaining cooking water as needed to adjust consistency. Serve with additional chopped basil if desired.
Source: Adapted from The Pasta Revolution by America's Test Kitchen