Orzo Pasta with Tomatoes and Zucchini makes a perfect light lunch or supper. Fold sautéed zucchini and blistered tomatoes into cooked orzo to bulk it up. Then combine starchy pasta water and parmesan cheese to create a creamy sauce, finished with lots of ground pepper and fresh basil.
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepot. Once boiling, season with the kosher salt.
Add the orzo to the boiling water and stir. Boil for 6 minutes (or 1 one minute below al dente according to package directions). Reserve ½ c pasta water, then drain.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12” skillet over medium high heat until it shimmers. Add the zucchini, toss to coat in the fat, then allow to saute, undisturbed, for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, then give the pan a good toss. Saute, undisturbed for 4 minutes, until the zucchini is soft and the tomatoes are just starting to blister where they had contact with the skillet.
Add the garlic and saute, stirring frequently, for 1 minute more.
Add the cooked orzo to the skillet, along with ¼ cup of pasta water and the parmesan cheese. Fold the pasta into the vegetables until the parmesan melts, forming a creamy sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add more pasta water a tablespoon at a time.
Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil and ground pepper. Serve right away, garnished with more fresh basil to taste.