Zucchini Blossom Bounty
Zucchini Pasta with Zucchini Flowers and Saffron
Zucchini abundance in our garden and a Rhode Island family joined me on a late July day in preparing pasta with zucchini, zucchini flowers and saffron. And we cooked quite a few other dishes, too.
First step? Pick the zucchini blossoms! Linda and young Julia did a good job in hunting them out, careful not to snip off the flowers at the tips of the zucchini but cutting just those bright yellow flowers waving at the tops of prickly stalks.
While in the garden, cut a few zucchini, too – medium-sized ones best as there will not yet be seeds taking over the pulpy goodness. Then head to the kitchen to cook…and here is our recipe:
Penne with Zucchini and Zucchini Flowers
Ingredients (for about 6):
penne pasta (use 1 lb for every 5 persons)
2 medium-sized zucchini
generous bunch of zucchini flowers
salt, q. b. (“quanto basta” or as much as you need – the most common annotation in Italian cookbooks!)
extra-virgin olive oil (accept no substitutes!)
Put pasta water (salted) on to boil (this dish can be made almost in the time it takes to boil water and cook the pasta!) Finely-dice the onion and chop zucchini into small pieces. Cover medium-sizeed sauce pan with extra-virgin olive oil and when oil hot (but not spitting), add onion, chili pepper and then zucchini on top. Simmer about 10 mins until zucchini al dente but not soft. Add diced zucchini flowers and simmer a few more minutes. Salt to taste.
Add diced prosciutto or diced pancetta with onion and chili pepper. Add shaved black truffle on top of this dish prior to serving. A sophisticated Umbrian kitchen might be equipped with a truffle-shaver. Ours is not: Pino used a carrot peeler to shave truffle the other day!