Thursday, 5 March 2015

Another Grate Pasta Dish!

Pasta con Zucchine, Capperi, Erbe Miste, Limone & Ricotta Salata
Pasta with Zucchini, Capers, Mixed Herbs, Lemon & Sated Ricotta


 It had to be a pasta dish this evening- nothing else would do! And I wanted to make use of the little round zucchini that had been waiting so patiently in its hiding place in my fridge.

The challenge, in my mind, was to get lots of flavor out of my little green cannon-ball and into my pasta... but with a little help from some lemon and herbs and tangy little capers, that was hardly going to be too much of a struggle. Especially with a little salted Ricotta to finish things off with, my supper turned to be a sure-fire success!

I do prefer the round zucchini to the long ones- they always seem to have a little more flavor for some reason- nut of course, any zucchini will do for this dish.

You will have it all ready in just 20 minutes and you will be thrilled at how easy it is to make- promise!


One regular-sized zucchini- round or otherwise, 1 Spring onion, 1 tablespoon of capers, the zest and juice of half a lemon, fresh parsley, mint and thyme, salt, pepper, nutmeg, a pinch of sugar, some olive oil, salted Ricotta and your pasta of choice... and you are ready to put together a plate or two of yumminess in next to no time!


See how rich a flavorful that looks? It was too! There is no need for a zucchini dish to end up being bland and flavorless as is so often the case! All it needs is some gentle... or maybe some slightly more forceful encouragement!


It doesn't always have to be a tomato or meat based sauce to transforms your plain old pasta into something special- and this dish is full of flavors to get you looking forward to Springtime- so it just has to be good!


I decided to cut myself a few slices of zucchini to fry separately as a "garnish" of sorts- totally unnecessary and simply "cosmetic"... but pretty all the same! Otherwise, I finely grated the rest of the zucchini and squeezed out most of the juice. I finely chopped the Spring onion and the herbs... and then got to work on cooking everything up!


Whilst the water came up to the boil for the pasta (tortiglioni in this case), I quickly fried the sliced zucchini along with a little lemon zest, salt, pepper and thyme until they became lightly golden brown and the herbs and zests became crispy.

I blanched the zests before using them to reduce the bitterness as well as any residues that may have been lingering in them- organic or not... you never can tell!


I popped the pasta into the saucepan to boil and in the meantime, started the Spring onion frying first for a minute or so, then added the grated zucchini for 2-3 minutes and then the capers. After around 5 minutes, I added a few more shavings of lemon zest, plenty of nutmeg and pepper and turned off the heat on the pasta.

Next came the juice of half a lemon and a teaspoon of sugar to balance the sourness as well as to bring out the flavor of the zucchini.

And after just 5 minutes, it was already time to bring all of the ingredients together!


The pasta comes out of the saucepan and straight into the frying pan with the other ingredients, so that they can all finish cooking together.

Add the finely chopped herbs and let the pasta continue cooking along for the next 3-4 minutes until almost all of the water has been absorbed- and every last bit of flavor that was in the frying pan along with it.


Serve with the zucchini slices, some freshly grated salted Ricotta, a few more lemon zests and last touch of olive oil and pepper... and enjoy! Simple, pretty and delicious! Just the way I like it... and I hope you do too!

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