Created by Kchurchill5 "RIP" Forever in our Kitchen on January 21, 2012
Step 1: Walnuts ... Rather than using more pots or pans, use the pan you intend to cook the zucchini in. You want a large saute pan, so you can add the pasta right to the vegetable mixture. Toast the walnuts by adding them to this pan (dry, no oil) and bring to medium high heat. Cook the walnuts a couple of minutes until you begin to smell them - keep an eye on them, they go quickly. You just want to lightly toast them. Transfer the nuts to a paper towel or plate to cool and then rough chop.
Step 2: Pasta ... Cook your pasta according to package directions in well salted water. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water and set to the side. As the pasta cooks, make your sauce.
Step 3: Sauce ... First, the zucchini - after you grated it, lay it on a paper towel to absorb some of the moisture; just 3-4 minutes is all it needs. Second, In the same pan you toasted the walnuts in; add the butter and oil and bring to medium - medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion and red pepper flakes and cook 2-3 minutes. Then add in the zucchini and cook on another 3-4 minutes until the zucchini becomes soft, but still has a bit of a bite to it. Season well with salt and pepper.
Step 4: Finish ... Add the vegetables to the pasta along with a little of the pasta water and toss to combine. Add in 1/2-3/4 cup of the cheese, walnuts, and fresh basil, toss again adding a bit more of the water to thin out the sauce if you want.
Step 5: Serve ... Family style in a big bowl and top with remaining cheese and walnuts. ENJOY! Add a fresh salad, a bowl of fruit, or even some crusty bread for a nice dinner. Or, make this a side dish to some roasted or grilled chicken or fish.