Salt (for the cooking water, plus 1/8 t. or more to taste)
8 oz dried penne pasta
1 T. olive oil
4 oz (12 thin slices) pancetta, cut into 1/4" dice
1 medium sweet onion (Walla Walla) 1/4" to 1/2" dice (1 c.)
1 LB zucchini, preferably 4 small ones, cut into 1/2" dice
Leaves from 6 stems basil leaves (3 T.), chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add penne and cook according to package directions. Drain and hold in a colander.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large (at least 12-inch) skillet or shallow braising pan over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until pieces start to turn translucent but not brown. Add onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pieces soften.

Add zucchini and the 1/8 t. salt (or to taste) and stir to incorporate; cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender. Add 2 T. of the basil and the pepper to taste.

Combine cooked penne with vegetable mixture in a large serving bowl, preferably warmed. Garnish with the remaining tablespoon of basil. Serve warm, with Parmesan for passing at the table.

Serves: 4