July 26, 2010 | Pasta & Pizza, Special
Last year my tomatoes grew out of control. I haven’t even used up all of the frozen jars of tomatoes or the jars of sauce I made. This year, it’s the zucchini. This little harvest of half of the week weighed in at nearly 12 pounds, and coming right behind it are a dozen more smaller ones. Only one thing to do……grate it up and freeze it for making zucchini bread, zucchini cookies, and more throughout the year. Well actually, two things to do – eat some for dinner!I did leave one intact to see if I could recreate the dish I fell in love with in Capri this spring. Turns out it’s pretty easy. Start with some thinly sliced zucchini.And some minced garlic.Saute them together over a low temp in extra virgin olive oil (more than you would think to use) until quite soft.While they are nearing the end of their cooking time, toss some spaghetti (I used whole wheat) into a large pot of salted boiling water and cook until just barely al dente.Finally, toss the cooked pasta with the zucchini, more extra virgin olive oil, some of the pasta cooking water, and a good amount of basil. Top with the best Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and serve immediately. I added cooked chicken to my pasta dish because I had leftovers, but honestly this dish is really satisfying as a vegetarian version. Buon Appetito!
Spaghetti alla Nerano
Don’t skimp on the olive oil added at the end – it combined with the pasta cooking water creates a wonderful sauce.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium to large zucchini, thinly sliced
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
8 ounces spaghetti, cooked, 1 cup cooking water reserved
3/4 cup basil leaves, roughly torn
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add zucchini and garlic, reduce heat to medium low, and cooking, stirring occasionally, until zucchini are soft. Add cooked pasta, basil, and olive oil to taste, then some of the cooking water until a nice creamy sauce is formed. Top with cheese and salt and pepper to taste.