Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 10 min Total time: 25 min Yield: 4 servings


The Sauce:

6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
1 fresh chile, seeded or not, and minced, or ground chile to taste (Aleppo is a one we like, and for fresh sting, a small Thai chile)
2 to 3 anchovy filets, rinsed (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

The Pasta:

6 quarts of boiling salted water in an 8-quart pot
1 pound pasta (fettuccini, tagliatelle or linguine)
1-1/2 pounds zucchini (5 medium), cut into 1/4-inch by 2-inch sticks

The Finishing Seasonings:

1/3 tight-packed cup fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 to 1/3 tight-packed cup fresh mint leaves, torn
1 tight-packed tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, torn
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
3 to 4 tablespoons good tasting extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup whole toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded medium-aged sheep cheese or Italian or American Asiago


1. In a large serving bowl, combine the garlic, onion, lemon juice, chile, salt, and pepper to taste, and anchovy, if using. Marinate about 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prep the rest of the ingredient. Drop the pasta into the boiling water. Add the zucchini 4 minutes before the pasta is done (check the box for timing). Once the pasta is tender but still has a little bite (al dente), scoop up 1/2 cup pasta water and set aside. Immediately drain the pasta and zucchini in a colander.
3. Stir 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water into the lemon juice mixture along with the herbs, olives and olive oil. Add the drained pasta, and toss to combine. Taste for salt and pepper (be generous with the black pepper), and then toss with the cheese. Serve hot.