I probably am the last person on earth to try "zucchini pasta", simply because I don't see the point when you can have, well: pasta. As I post this recipe, it is confinement time due to the coronavirus pandemic. One, I do limit my trips to the market and two, I prefer to eat light & healthy as we all move much less. The certainty here is that we all get very creative with an emptier fridge. Lucky, it is Spring and yellow zucchini are in season. They are one of my favorite vegetables -they totally beat their green counterparts to the race- because much more subtle flavor and SO PRETTY!
The is a satisfying meal, count a whole zucchini per person, and it is totally foolproof. Sorry, pasta.
Prep in 10, eat in 20
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
Prepare the zucchini:
- With a slicer, thinly slice the zucchini until you get to the wet seedy core. Reserve the core.
- Slice the largest zucchini strips in half lengthwise so all the strips look similar (and cook envenly). Keep your firm zucchini strips to the side.
Prepare the aglio olio:
- In a large pan over a low heat, slowly cook the garlic with the lemon zest and chili for at least 10-15 minutes until it becomes golden and confit. It will smell incredible in your kitchen.
- In the meantime, boil the zucchini in the prepared pot for 3 minutes.
- Back to the sauce, grate or finely chop the zucchini core and add to the garlic pan. Raise the heat to medium, season with sea salt and stir. The zucchini will release some moisture, and you want it to evaporate. Cook on medium for about 5 minutes and reduce the heat to low to keep it warm.
Prepare the basil oil:
- Simply dry chop the basil in a food processor with the pine nuts.
- Transfer to a bowl, add oil and mix well.
- Drain the zucchini well and transfer to the garlic pan, mix well.
- Plate, drizzle some basil oil and shave some pecorino or ricotta salata on top. Enjoy!
For the aglio olio sauce:
- 1 yellow zucchini / yellow squash
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- The zest of a lemon, finely minced
- 1 tsp pepperoncino, or chopped fresh red chilies (not for types A & AB)
- 1 tbsp rock salt
For the basil oil:
- 20g fresh basil
- 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
- 40-50ml olive oil
Freshly grated Pecorino romano or ricotta salata (not type O).