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Mezze Penne Niçoise
serves 2

Mezze Penne NiçoiseIngredients

  • ½ box mezze penne (small penne rigate, recommended: Barilla)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon

  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced into half moons

  • ½ small to medium zucchini, thinly sliced into half moons

  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped

  • 1 sprig of thyme

  • ½ teaspoon of chili flakes

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

  • Salt and pepper

  • Pecorino Romano to taste


  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until it is al dente.

  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-low heat, and add the shallots and zucchini and garlic and thyme and chili flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to soften for 5 minutes while the pasta cooks.

  3. To the vegetables, add the tomato paste, and sauté for one minute, incorporating it into the veggies. Add the fresh mint, and a few spoonfuls of pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta, and toss everything together. Top with extra coarsely cracked black pepper and some grated Pecorino cheese, and maybe a few chopped black olives from Nice.

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