8 ounces regular or whole wheat pasta, any shape
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 small zucchini, coarsely grated
1 to 2 teaspoons tomato paste (use the smaller amount if not adding cream)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, coarsely grated
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated parmesan cheese, for serving
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water before draining the pasta.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over high heat, combine the olive oil, garlic and thyme. Let sizzle until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the grated zucchini and a large pinch of salt and sauté until the zucchini is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
3. Remove the garlic and thyme. Add the tomato paste and sauté for 1 minute. Add the grated tomatoes and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, for 3 minutes. Pour in the cream if using and simmer for 1 more minute.
4. Add the drained pasta and reserved cooking water to the pan and stir over high heat until the pasta is coated with the sauce, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot with parmesan cheese.
Find out more about this recipe on Mom Appetit's blog.