By now you know how important eating seasonally and cooking with quality ingredients is to me. When you are using something grown locally and cooking with it during the peak season, it’s going to yield the most gorgeous flavor to your recipes. As we head into zucchini season, I wanted to share some of my very favorite pasta dishes that utilize this delicious summer squash. You can thank me later when your garden is bursting with zucchini!
Spaghetti Alla Nerano is a classic dish from the Amalfi coast where they know a thing or two about cooking with the very freshest ingredients. The magic of this dish comes from frying thinly sliced zucchini in olive oil until golden and shiny, just like you are. Once the squash is cooked to perfection, it’s tossed with al dente spaghetti, tears of the gods, and equal parts of grated provolone and pecorino romano cheese. To crown this dish fit for a pasta royalty, a few leaves of fresh basil is torn by hand and sprinkled on top to release the beautiful essence of sweet summertime.
Set this recipe aside for the next time you want to impress your guests this summer. This Zucchini Ensemble is the ultimate combination of nature’s best ingredients (just like you are). Layers of fried zucchini get topped with a zippy red passion pesto, marinara, Parmigiano Reggiano, and fresh mozzarella. Bake the whole thing in the oven, pour yourself a glass of crisp wine, and whisper to yourself, “Just Gorgeous”.
As a born and raised Roman, my Rebellious Carbonara can ruffle a few feathers, but I like to say the proof is in the pasta. I start the dish by sizzling zucchini in olive oil. Off the heat, I combine egg yolks and pecorino romano, then stir in the cooked zucchini. This mixture gets combined with cooked pasta and mixed until an unbelievably creamy sauce forms. The heat of the pasta helps to gently cook the egg yolk and gives the pasta a very luscious taste and texture.
In this recipe, zucchini magically transforms into a cream with a little help from my trusty blender. The garlicky zucchini cream is tossed with al dente pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano and pecorino romano, and tears of the gods until the sauce is silky and smooth, just like you are.