Monday, June 10, 2013

Surprisingly Delicious Use-Up-All-The-Zucchini Spaghetti

It is the beginning of June. Already we have a glut of zucchini. I harvested these from our Eight-Ball zucchini plant over the last couple of days, and there's a lot more coming. I am always on the lookout for zucchini recipes.

This recipe I picked up on my travels in Sorrento, Italy. I am not a huge zucchini lover, and when we made it in my cooking class at Mami Camilla's, I was doubtful I would like it much. But there's magic in Italian cooking. This recipe is so simple: zucchini, olive oil, parmesan, basil, salt, pepper, but the product is much more than the sum of its parts. Cooking the zucchini down until it is a soft, saucy mush brings out the natural buttery, nuttiness of the squash. Good parmesan, pecorino, and basil elevate this dish to a summer favorite. And, best of all, it is a fantastic answer to the gardener's dilemma of, "What to do with all that squash?" This sauce is best with fresh pasta, but dried will do.





Surprisingly Delicious Use-Up-All-The-Zucchini Spaghetti

6-7 medium zucchini, sliced in thin coins
a fearless pour of good olive oil
salt and black pepper, be generous
a large handful grated parmesan reggiano
a smaller handful grated pecorino romano
a small bunch basil leaves, chopped or sliced
1 pound spaghetti

Put a large pot of water on to boil.
Put a saute pan on medium heat, and add a good pour of olive oil. You want to cover the bottom of the pan, probably half a cup or so.
Slice the zucchini into thin rounds and add to the hot oil. Salt generously so the water will come out and evaporate off. Fry the zucchini until soft and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
When the water is boiling, salt the water generously, add the pasta and follow the package instructions.
While things are cooking, grate the cheeses and chop the basil.
When the spaghetti is al dente, reserve a mug full of pasta water, then drain.
Add the spaghetti, cheese, and basil to the saute pan with the zucchini. Toss well. Add pasta water to create a creamy sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.


Buon appetito! 





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