pasta con le zucchine – pasta with courgettes


pasta zucchineAfter the Baroque excess of fish soup, something of almost Buddhist simplicity this time. If you have any leftovers, you’ll be able to give them to your pet rabbit without any qualms. Actually, it would probably go quite well with carrots. One of the advantages is that it requires no soffritto and that you only use one saucepan, with the pasta and its sidekick cooking together in the same water. So it’s quick, easy, cheap, and summery too. “Che vuoi di più dalla vita?”, as the Italians say – what more could you want from life? Well, in my son’s case, a pasta dish that doesn’t involve green vegetables…

It’s tasty too, of course, albeit in a delicate courgettey kind of way. Well, delicate courgettiness is what you need sometimes, although, as I said, my son would beg to differ…

This works best with thick spaghetti, and really benefits from ricotta salata, but if you can only find parmesan, just use that instead, as you shrug phlegmatically in a Sicilian kind of way, muttering “pazienza”.

zucchineServes 4:

  • 500g baby courgettes, preferably with flowers still attached
  • 400g spaghettoni o spaghetti alla chitarra
  • Handful of fresh basil and/or mint leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh red chilli, chopped (optional)
  • Ricotta salata or parmesan to serve
  1.  Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Remove the courgette flowers and set aside. Top and tail the courgettes and slice into quarters lengthways (into sixths or eighths if they’re bigger). Once the water is boiling, add the pasta, the courgettes and the flowers.
  2. Cook until the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta and courgettes and return to the pan. Gently mix in the basil and mint and a good drizzle of olive oil. Check seasoning and serve.
  3. Scatter over some fresh red chilli and/or ricotta salata if the mood takes you.

Any white, lightly aromatic wine will work with this.


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