Not so fast, Summer. You can’t just pack up and leave because Labor Day has come and gone!
You are technically on duty until September 23rd so if you don’t mind, please keep us warm during the day and cool in the evenings until you absolutely have to turn the keys over to Fall. I will then resign myself to putting away my beloved flip flops and changing over my closet, but not a minute before!
Oh, and I fully intend to eat my fill of your season’s last berries, corn, tomatoes, and zucchini until they disappear from the farm stands in the next few weeks. Deal, Summer?
Picked at the peak of perfection, slender zucchini from Wilson Farm in Lexington, Massachusetts…
Rows of sweet tomatoes from Hutchins Farm in Concord, Massachusetts…
Beautiful, local blueberries at Wilson Farm…
A freshly picked pile of corn at Verrill Farm in Concord, Massachusetts (I watched them empty the bag!)…
I have been meaning to share this recipe for Fried Zucchini Pasta with you and it needs to happen now so you can enjoy it soon! My friend, Francine shared it with me awhile back and I’ve made it a few times since. I also asked my friend, Amy to give it a try and offer an opinion. She wrote me in an email that it was DELICIOUS (all in caps so that must mean extra delish). The dish is reminiscent of the Roman Cacio e Pepe, a luscious and creamy pasta dish made with Pecorino Cheese and black pepper, mixed with delicately fried zucchini slices in this version.
Should I mention that the author of this recipe is Gwyneth Paltrow? I know, I know. What she said in an interview here and what she posted to her website, GOOP here have contributed to her reputation as a controversial woman. Yet, she loves to cook (and has published two cookbooks) so we can all benefit from a winning recipe, I say.
Fried Zucchini Spaghetti is easy enough for a weeknight and flavorful enough to serve to guests, perhaps as a first course. I made one adjustment to GP’s original recipe which was to shave parmesan cheese on the fried zucchini when it comes out of the pan (in addition to kosher salt). The parmesan adds another layer of flavor and as an aside, these little zucchini discs would make a fun vegetarian nibble with a glass of wine! New appetizer alert!
Because there are only a few ingredients in this dish, it is best to use high quality products. The best pasta and olive oil you can swing, tender zucchini (this is not the time to use the baseball bat sized zucchini that was hiding in your garden!) and a fresh wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated as you are cooking. I promise you, the flavor will be worth it!
Most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry!
So let’s wear our flip flops and eat the beautiful colors of Summer just a little longer, ok?
Looking ahead, I am heading to Market Restaurant in Annisquam later this month and will do a review for this seasonal restaurant. I am also hosting my dinner group with a really fun theme. Can’t wait to share it with you all. Thanks for reading!
The essential ingredients. Slender zucchini, De Cecco spaghetti, a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano, aromatic basil and lemon…
Thin slices of zucchini…
The fried zucchini slices drain on a paper towel which absorbs any excess oil. They are not greasy – just crisp and delicious. Kosher salt is sprinkled on top while the zucchini is warm. This is also the time to shave some fresh parmesan on top of the slices…
The final dish. Finishing the pasta with extra cheese and black pepper really boosts the flavor, the more the better! An optional squeeze of lemon brightens the flavors (try it without the lemon first to see what your palate prefers).
My favorite flip-flops from Eliza B!
Adapted every so slightly from Gwyneth Paltrow
- 1 pound small zucchini, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- kosher salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3/4 pound spaghetti
- 1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for the zucchini and serving
- 1/2 cup torn basil leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the flour and a pinch of salt.
- In a very large skillet, heat half of the oil until shimmering. Add half of the zucchini and fry over high heat, turning once or twice, until browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the zucchini to a paper towel-lined wire rack and season with salt and a fresh grating of cheese. Repeat with the remaining oil and zucchini.
- Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid before draining the pasta.
- Return the pasta to the pot and toss with the 1 cup of cheese, the basil and a generous pinch of pepper.
- Add the reserved pasta water a little at a time, tossing well to coat.
- Transfer the pasta to a bowl and top with the crispy zucchini.
- Serve right away with lemon wedges and additional cheese.
I finally got around to making the zucchini spaghetti last night. Bill and Liam absolutely loved it! Best zucchini that I have ever had. I agree – alone they would make a great appetizer. thanks, Ellen
I love that you included a shot of your Eliza B’s. You’re the best, Val!
Thanks, Jane! I love those flip flops!