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Fettuccine With Squash Ribbons

Fettuccine With Squash Ribbons
Julie O'Hara for NPR /

Use a sharp vegetable peeler to make thin squash ribbons, about a half-inch wide. Peel, then rotate the squash so strips are about the same width. Stop when you hit the rough seeds. The hot fettuccine and sauteed grape tomatoes will heat and slightly soften the squash.

Makes 4 servings

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

12 ounces whole-wheat or regular fettuccine

Cooking spray

3 fully cooked chicken sausages, preferably spinach and feta or sun-dried tomato flavor

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 to 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved crosswise

3 medium zucchini, trimmed, skin removed and peeled into thin ribbons

3 medium yellow crookneck squash, trimmed, skin removed and peeled into thin ribbons

1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil

Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and add fettuccine. Cook according to package directions. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta-cooking water and drain.

Meanwhile, coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium. Add chicken sausage and cook, turning often, until golden brown on each side. Transfer to a cutting board. Allow sausage to rest for a few minutes, then thinly slice on the diagonal.

Add olive oil to skillet and turn heat to medium-low. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook 3 minutes, or until skin is no longer taut. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Deglaze skillet with about 1/4 cup of reserved pasta-cooking water, loosening any bits from the bottom of the skillet. Remove from heat.

Off the stove, add the zucchini ribbons to the empty pasta pot, followed by the tomato mixture, the drained pasta, the sliced sausage and about three-quarters of the basil. Toss well to combine. If pasta appears dry, add enough of the reserved cooking water to coat the pasta so it looks moist, but not wet.

Divide among 4 bowls and use a vegetable peeler to shave thin pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano over pasta. Sprinkle with remaining basil and serve immediately.

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