Pici with Summer Squashes and Tarragon

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

Tarragon brings out the natural sweetness of squash. A creamy ouzo-infused sauce adds a licorice-laced coating to long, thin strands of pasta.


  • ½ onion, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 summer squashes, such as yellow and zucchini, sliced

  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • cup ouzo

  • ¾ cup heavy cream

  • 1 pound pici or other long, thin pasta, such as bucatini or spaghetti, cooked until al dente (1 cup cooking water reserved)

  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh tarragon


  1. Cook onion in 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining tablespoon oil, the squashes, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add wine and ouzo. Bringto a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes. Add cream; toss to coat. Add pasta, reserved cooking water, and tarragon, and gently toss.

Cook's Notes

Follow these steps when you cook the pasta for this dish: Bring a large pot of water (6 quarts) to a boil -- you want enough water so the pasta can move around. Season the water with 1/4 cup coarse salt. (The water should be well seasoned; think "salty like the sea.") Cook 1 pound of pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving at least 2 cups cooking water. The pasta releases starch as it cooks, and the starchy water is essential to the sauce.

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