Ziti with Seared Wax Beans & Pancetta

2 servings

Tip: Pine nuts have a sweet, buttery flavor. They are often ground into pesto sauce, but also enhance a pasta dish when sprinkled in just before serving. Toast them lightly in a skillet on the stovetop, moving them around constantly. DON’T WALK AWAY; once they turn golden and have a toasty smell, move them out of the pan quickly and onto a plate or paper towel until served. A few seconds too long and they will take on an unpleasant burned appearance, smell and flavor.

4 oz dry ziti pasta
3-4 oz pancetta
8 oz fresh wax beans
1 medium zucchini
1 clove fresh garlic
1 Tbsp white wine
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 small lemon
1 Tbsp pine nuts
Parmesan or Pecorino to grate when serving
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Toast pine nuts lightly in heated skillet; remove from pan and set aside on paper towel.
Dice pancetta.
Wash, dry and remove ends from wax beans and zucchini. Cut beans diagonally into 2-3″ pieces. Cut zucchini in half, lengthwise, then cut diagonal pieces.
Mince garlic clove.
Zest lemon; cut lemon in half.

Boil water for pasta as directed on package. Add salt to water just before dry pasta. Cook al dente.
Sauté pancetta in large preheated skillet until most of fat is rendered and meat pieces are browning. Remove meat to a paper towel and pour out most of fat.
Add wax beans to skillet and allow them to sear. Add zucchini to beans, season lightly with S&P (red pepper flakes, if using) and stir occasionally until zucchini begins to brown and soften. Stir in minced garlic and lemon zest, then white wine and broth to deglaze the pan. Let simmer to reduce liquid by about half.
Add al dente pasta to the vegetables in the skillet, stirring lightly to combine. If moisture is needed, add 1/4 cup of pasta water. Return pancetta to mixture. Squeeze both lemon halves over the mixture. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Sprinkle in the toasted pine nuts, then divide the meal between two pasta bowls. Grate Parmesan generously over each dish and serve immediately.

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