There’s very little prep for this recipe, and the sauce comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta, so it’s perfect for a quick first course when you’ve got other dishes to attend to, or as a simple entrée for casual weeknight entertaining.
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, slice into ½-inch strips
- 2 medium leeks, white and light-green parts, halved and sliced ½ inch thick
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 pound medium zucchini, cut into 1½-by- ¼-inchthick matchsticks
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- ½ cup grated Grana Padano
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken all over with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Add the chicken to the skillet, and toss to brown all over, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a plate.
Reduce the heat in the skillet to medium, and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the leeks. As the leeks soften, add the spaghetti to the pasta water. Cook the leeks until just wilted, about 3 minutes.
Add the zucchini to the leeks, season with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes, and toss. Cover, and cook until the zucchini wilts, about 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to medium high, and cook until the vegetables are caramelized on the edges, about 2 minutes. Add back the chicken and ½ cup pasta water. Simmer while the spaghetti finishes cooking, about 3 minutes.
When the spaghetti is al dente, remove with tongs directly to the sauce. Drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle with the basil and parsley, and toss. Add a little pasta water if it seems dry. Remove the skillet from the heat, sprinkle with the grated cheese, toss, and serve.