Anne's Blog

Zucchini Blossom Bounty

Date: July 28, 2014 - categories: , - Leave your thoughts

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.

Linda and young Julia gather zucchini flowers in our garden

Linda and young Julia gather zucchini flowers in our garden

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
saffron
chili pepper
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!)
onion

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.

Slice the zucchini and then dice

Slice the zucchini and then dice

Dice zucchini into smallish pieces

Dice zucchini into smallish pieces

Chop zucchini flowers into small pieces

Chop zucchini flowers into small pieces

First saute' onion with a bit of chili pepper

First saute’ onion with a bit of chili pepper

Simmer-diced-zucchini-with-onion,-chili-pepper-a-bit-of-prosciutto

Simmer diced zucchini with onion, chili pepper a bit of prosciutto

Optional variations:
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!

Pino uses a carrot peeler to shave the truffle!

Pino uses a carrot peeler to shave the truffle!

Shaved black truffle to finish off

Shaved black truffle adds a nice touch to zucchini pasta

Read more on zucchini goodness and zucchini lore
Read more on truffles
Read more on a favorite Sicilian zucchini antipasto recipe

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Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)