Thursday, August 7, 2014

Zucchini on Top of Zucchini

Welcome to my kitchen. Just don't make fun of my photography. If you want better photos, come take them yourself & stay for dinner. [BYOB.]

I've been on a squash noodle journey, turning every crookneck and zucchini that come my way into pasta substitutes. 

When I get back to my target weight, I'm not sure whether to celebrate with pasta or with pizza--maybe both.  And I think I'll throw in a tomato sandwich on white bread with mayo. If I can't have one of those per tomato season, then life's not worth living. Just one is all I need.  

Tonight's experiment: Zucchini & Walnut Sauce over Zucchini Noodles (instead of linguini). Plus--I'm trying out my Spirelli, a tool I'm hoping will be less dangerous than the serrated mandoline I've been using. I haven't injured myself yet, but I can see the potential for a scene reminiscent of the SNL skit with Dan Ackroyd impersonating Julia Child.

Here's my original tool. Effective, but somewhat scary.

Here's the new one, which my friend Deborah Franklin described as a pencil sharpener for vegetables. Ha!

It worked pretty well

Zucchini & Walnut Pasta

2-3 zucchini, peeled & trimmed, for noodles
3 small zucchini, untrimmed, for sauce
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 anchovy fillets, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon  dried crushed red pepper
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
Grated parmesan

Step 1: Create zucchini noodles. Sprinkle with a bit of salt & let sit in colander for 10-20 minutes, no longer. Squeeze dry before using. It's best to use them quickly. They get soggy if they sit too long.

Step 2: Meanwhile, combine garlic, anchovy fillets, and crushed red pepper in a large serving bowl. Using pestle or wooden spoon, crush mixture until paste forms. Here's the paste with the wooden spoon in the background.

Warning: The paste was salty & garlicky. We happen to like that, but if you don't, then adjust accordingly. Tip: If you need a small amount of anchovies, as in this recipe, it's best to keep anchovy paste on hand. 

Step 3: Slice zucchini lengthwise and then again. Slice. Saute in a bit of olive oil until browned.

Step 4 Transfer zucchini noodles to bowl with garlic mixture. Add zucchini, walnuts, & parmesan cheese. Add a bit of olive oil to moisten if needed. Season with salt and pepper. [In the original recipe, you'd use cooked linguini and a bit of pasta water instead of zucchini noodles and olive oil.]


Add a side of tomato slices drizzled with freshly made pesto.

Need I say more?

Thanks for dropping in. I welcome your suggestions, tips, additional recipes. Just lay off the photography critiques. I'm a cook, not a photographer. 

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