Friday, August 20, 2010

Zucchini: What to Do With All Those Extra Summer Zucchini

     Some of my gardening friends may be wondering what the heck they are going to do with all those zucchini they grew this summer.  Many of you are practically swimming in zucchini!  You’ve steamed them,  fried them, made soups, breaded them, and eaten them raw with hummus.  All of which are noble endings for the simple zucchini.   I have also had to get a little creative this summer with the zucchini.  Alas, unlike my mother, I do not have a green thumb, everything dies, including weeds!  However, when I go to the local markets, what is in season?  Zucchini, of course.  So I have been eating them all summer, just like the rest of you.  With a little bit of creativity, zucchini can be delicious and fun.  I made up the following recipe while I was trying to eat up everything in the fridge and cupboards before I went stateside.  It turned out fantastic, and I have since made it many times.  This blog is dedicated to Jenny, Thomas, and my favorite baby in the world, Max.


For four people
4 tablespoon of olive oil
4 tablespoons of pine nuts
4 tablespoons of sultanas or golden raisons
4 cloves of garlic
15 cherry tomatoes
2 medium zucchini
1/2 tablespoon of dried calabrian red pepper
dry white wine
500g of whole grain fusilli
course sea salt


Prepare everything in advance.  you will want to cut up the tomatoes and zucchini into small quarter sized pieces, or dice them, whichever you prefer is fine.  First, you are going to start with toasting the pine nuts.  To do this, take a small pan, drizzle a small amount of olive oil in it and put on full heat.  Throw in the pine nuts and flip them every 30 seconds until  they brown.  Put to the side.  In a large deep pan, use the rest of the olive oil and a splash of dry white wine and crush the cloves of garlic and red peppers and sauté with a medium heat.  Add the tomatoes and zucchini and sautè with the garlic.   Add the toasted pine nut and sultanas.  In a large pot, bring water to boil and add salt to taste.  Since I do not use salt in the veggies, I add a bit more in the water.   Add the dry fusilli and cook until al dente.  While the pasta is boiling simmer the veggies on a low heat setting.  I like to use a whole grain pasta for this dish, my favorite is pasta made from farro, or, spelt.  I think it brings out the nutty flavor of the pine nuts.    I use a whole box for four people.   Serve in large pasta bowls.  This pairs well with a dry rosato, or a lovely Vermentino di Gallura.    Enjoy outdoors if possible.

 Buon Appetito!!