When I started this post it was spring and the tiny tender zucchini were a delight to find after the winter vegetables had been a round for so long. Then it was hot, hot, hot, but since then things have cooled down a bit and still I find this simple recipe a three season pleaser. When the weather heats up and the siren song of the outdoors calls I think everyone starts to think in terms of simpler ways of cooking. The heart of Italian cooking itself relies on seasonality and robustness of flavor so your ingredients flavors sing out with mimimal and simple preparation. Sounds perfect for the time of the year when you just want to be outdoors and cooking other than grilling doesn't hold much appeal. This simple pasta dish makes for an ample main or side dish that's satisfying without overdoing it.
|Shoe string zucchini|
Spaghetti con Zucchini
6 or so large servings
500g/1 lb spaghetti
1 kg/ 2 pounds small zucchini, thinly slivered
100 ml/ 6T olive oil
salt and black pepper, coarsely ground is very nice
I love to repeat the shape of the spaghetti with the cutting of the zucchini on a mandolin or shredded as thinly as you can, so you have a long strip of zucchini resembling the pasta. You can hand cut them as well and if you have long zucchini, then just cut them into more manageable lengths. You can also simple cut them into half moon shapes, but I really like the thin strips.
Heat your oil up in a large saute pan so that the zucchini and pasta will all fit into one pot later when the pasta is cooked.
Slowly cook your zucchini until they are soft and much of their liquid has disappeared.
Cook your pasta al dente, while the zucchini are simmering.
When your pasta is done drain and add to the zucchini and serve with a light drizzle of flavorful olive oil.
*A useful tip for pasta sauces is to reserve perhaps a cup of your pasta water to add a few tablespoons as needed, if you find your pasta is a tad too dry. This is called lengthening the sauce and can be useful when making any pasta dish. You just need to be careful in how much you add, as it can easily add more salt than you might want if you are not careful.
This recipe works well making it in half portions and the two of us found that as a main course with a salad for lunch, that the half portion could have easily serve 2 more people.
Served with a chiffonade cut chicory salad with datarini tomatoes and chives,
made for a delightful lunch.