Fresh Taste, Simplicity and Low Cost.
Sometimes the most simple ingredients make the most sumptuous dish.
My friend and I have just been discussing how fresh, young zucchini can make a great pasta sauce. They can be the long, dark green skinned variety or the newer pale green ones. The round zucchini are becoming more common; these can be dark or pale green in colour and some are variegated.
Often, when guests come, I remind myself that having costly ingredients is not the most important factor. What is fresh, in season, and have they had it before, are far more important factors.
Pasta chi cucuzzeddi fritti (Sicilian), Pasta con zucchine fritte (Italian) is very common all over Sicily and consists of thinly sliced zucchini fried in extra virgin olive oil. Garlic is used to flavour the oil and is then discarded.
It is important to fry the zucchini in plenty of oil in a wide frypan – the zucchini will release liquid if they are overcrowded in the pan and if necessary fry the zucchini in batches.
My partner took some left over zucchini pasta to work and I was amazed when he reported to me that one of his collegues referred to this vegetable as tha blandest vegetable! I think I will need to invite this person to dinner.
Thin spaghetti is the favoured pasta for this dish – a coating of flavoured oil is preferred. Short, tubular or ridged, surfaced pasta may trap too much oil.
Like so many of the vegetable paste sauces it is made in minutes and makes me wonder why takeaways are seen as a quick solution.