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Tomato Pearl Couscous with Zucchini and Basil


  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings 1x

Description

This dish is perfect for weeknights, when you’re short on time but still want something satiating, healthy, and delicious to eat. Here, we’re using tomato paste as the flavor base, which is a great pantry shortcut that packs a ton of flavor and umami. The addition of fresh basil and lemon juice brings out the brightness and balances the dish, and the slightly sweet zucchini slices bring freshness and texture. You can swap out the zucchini for other vegetables, depending on what you have on hand. It’s a no-fuss recipe that always hits the spot. I hope you love it!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 2 tbsp olive oil + more for drizzling, divided
  • 3 cups zucchini, cut in half lengthwise then sliced into half-circles (from about 2 zucchinis)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup basil + more for garnish, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup parmesan cheese or parmesan cheese alternative

Instructions

  1. Cook pearl couscous al-dente according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. 
  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in the zucchini slices, ¼ tsp salt, and a pinch of pepper. Sauté until lightly browned and tender, tossing occasionally, about 7 minutes. Transfer zucchini to a plate and set aside. 
  3. Wipe the skillet clean, then heat another 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the tomato paste and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring, until it deepens in color. Add in 2 tbsp water to loosen the paste into a sauce and reduce heat to low. 
  4. Add the cooked pearl couscous and zucchini back into the skillet and toss to coat. Season with ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat and gently fold in the basil and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Serve immediately and garnish with more basil and parmesan cheese, if desired, and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
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