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Valentino Pasta

Ziti with Sausage, Heirloom Zucchini & Caramelized Onion

We gave out copies of this recipe at a recent farmers market and quite a few people commented on how great it was. The ziti with all its rustic charm really lets you appreciate the carby goodness here. It’s also one of my favorite types of recipes for a good artisan pasta. It’s seasonal, simple, flavorful and lets the pasta shine. If you need to you can substitute regular zucchini for the heirloom variety.


  • 1 lb Valentino Pasta
  • 1 – 2 Costata Romanesco (Heirloom Zucchini) Cut in 1/2 Inch Slices
  • ½ Lb Herbed or Italian Sausage
  • 1 Medium Red Onion, Sliced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Sliced
  • ½ Cup Parmigiano Reggiano, Grated
  • 1 Pinch Crushed Red Pepper
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 4 Tbs EVO, Divided
  • ½- 3/4  Cup Pasta Water, As Needed


  1. Put 3 Tbs EVO in a large, high-sided skillet on medium heat.  Add sausage, onion, & crushed red pepper.  Sauté until sausage is well browned & onion caramelized.  10-15 minutes.  Remove & set aside.
  2. Drop your pasta into boiling, salted water.
  3. Add remaining EVO & garlic.  Place heirloom zucchini in a single layer.  Season with salt & pepper.  Brown 4-5 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium low; add sausage & onion back to skillet.
  4. When pasta is 1 minute short of al dente, drain it & add it with ¼ cup pasta water to the skillet.
  5. Cut the heat.  Add Parm. Finish with EVO.

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