1 clove garlic1/2 cup olive oil
4 to 5 small zucchini, sliced into very thin rounds
Salt and pepper
11 ounces spaghetti or
3 ounces grated Provolone del Monaco (or Parmesan or hard
Knob of cold, unsalted butter
Handful of basil leaves
1.Put a large pot of water on to boil for the spaghetti.
2.In a wide skillet over medium-high heat, add the garlic clove and olive oil so the mixture sizzles and the oil gets infused by the garlic. When just golden, remove the garlic and add the zucchini rounds. Toss every now and then, letting the zucchini fry away until tender but not brown.
3.In the meantime, add a teaspoon of salt to the boiling water, then place spaghetti in the pot.
4.Drain the zucchini on paper towels and season with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Keep warm. Blend together about a third of the zucchini and about 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) of water from the pot of pasta—I use a glass jar with a handheld blender for this. Pour this purée into a large serving bowl, where you will eventually add all the pasta.
5.When the spaghetti is al dente (take out about 1 minute before the suggested cooking time on the packet), drain, saving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Toss the spaghetti into the serving bowl with the purée, the grated cheese, the fried zucchini, and the cold butter. Quickly toss, using tongs or a spatula to help you. You want spaghetti to be silky and just coated with the purée, not dry but not watery either. If it's too dry, add cooking water a little at a time. Top with the basil leaves and serve immediately.