Spaghetti con Zucchine Grattugiate e Pancetta Croccante
Spaghetti with Grated Zucchini and Crispy Bacon
You know, when it comes to food, it really IS all a matter of taste. Some like it hot, some like it not. Some people love the shock of the new, other like the traditional and the comforting. And some people like me... just love to have variety and a healthy mix of old and new- with a little craziness thrown in now and then for good measure!
This is basically a very simple little dish, but presented in 3 different versions. It's amazing how good a simple zucchini can taste- incredible that so many people claim they find them to be bland or tasteless... it all depends what you do with them! The important thing is to try to bring out their natural flavor and sweetness and compliment it. Bacon is great with zucchini (and almost everything else!) and so is nutmeg. So... why not use both?
Ok, let's not beat about the bush... put a mix of half milk, half water on to boil... it will give the spaghetti a nice creamy flavor whilst keeping it light and healthy. Start cooking the spaghetti and get busy with the rest. First of all, put your bacon rashers into a dry Teflon pan and fry until crispy and brown. Remove and drain on some kitchen towel. Add the grated zucchini, some finely chopped garlic and some spring onions to the pan and fry them gently in the rendered bacon fat. Season with a little cayenne, salt and pepper.
If you are of the vegetarian persuasion, you can always skip the bacon and use olive oil... I suppose. But trust me- those little piggies would have wanted it this way!
By now your spaghetti will be finished... drain it, though not too thoroughly and transfer it to the frying pan. Grate generously with nutmeg, stir in well all of the tasty zucchini and allow to simmer for a while. And whilst you are doing that, you can prepare a little tomato and basil pesto...
For the pesto, take a 4-5 cherry tomatoes, 2 good handfuls of basil, a clove of garlic, half a teaspoon of chili flakes, a tablespoon of grated, salted ricotta cheese,some toasted almonds and of course a good olive oil. Pop them into your machine and give them a whiz. Now go and grab 3 dishes because it will be difficult to decide which way to serve this up! Because all 3 combinations are equally delicious!