- penne pasta (use 1 lb for every 5 persons)
- 2 medium-sized zucchini
- generous bunch of zucchini flowers
- 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!)
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. Or add shaved black truffle on top of this dish prior to serving. A sophisticated Umbrian kitchen might be equipped with a truffle-shaver….but ours is not: Pino used a carrot peeler to shave truffles on our pasta the other day!