Friday, July 8, 2011
Farmer's Market Spaghetti
This dish is for kids and grown up kids alike. It's a fun way to get those who pick out their veggies to eat them and like it!
While at the Millburn farmers market this week I picked up some beautiful zucchini. I was especially attracted to the golden zucchini. What a gorgeous color! I knew I've been pushing it with Steve and the veggies lately but I couldn't pass up a dinner featuring these beauties!
Recently I read a post from deb of Smitten Kitchen from a couple of years ago. Someone must have linked to it...could have been Stacey from Stacey Snacks. I LOVE both of these blogs by the way. Stacey is also from New Jersey and posts about a lot of local places; you'll love her if you don't already! The post that inspired this was for zucchini strand spaghetti that Deb saw Michael Chiarello make. Where has he been??? Anyway, it looked great and I really wanted to try it and I could benefit from finding another use for the mandoline I HAD to have. :-) After reading her post it seemed like her zucchini was still too crunchy cooked that way (steamed) and I didn't have anymore fresh basil to make the basil oil so I took my own spin on it.
The colors from the green zucchini and golden zucchini really made this pasta look like a million bucks! Next time I will use 2 of each instead of just one because the strands cook down and it looks like it's going to have a lot more zucchini than you really do. I would also add in another tomato but that's it. I love this dish. Steve really seemed to enjoy it too! It wasn't easy or necessary for him to pick out the zucchini. I can't wait to make this for my mom. She's going to love it!
Before I post the recipe I want to tell you all about the garlic scapes I bought for the first time. I've been reading about them and I got really excited when I saw them. I've read a lot about garlic scape pesto so I picked up a few (actually only 5 bc they were 5 for a $1 and I had no clue what I'd do with them yet). I did some research and had some ideas for the scapes. The first way I tried it was raw. Holy Moly! I will not be making garlic scape pesto. It's way too strong for me! When we grilled some burgers I asked Steve to throw just one on the grill to see how it would taste. It was actually very tasty! The end was a little fibrous so maybe I should have trimmed them back a bit. I chopped some for a tomato and cucumber salad and it really gave a wonderful mild garlic flavor. Fresh chopped garlic in a salad like that could be too overpowering and this was the perfect substitute. I was told that the tips could be used for cooking but when I cut it it seemed a little flowery inside like the choke of an artichoke so I decided against it. I had some leftover and tasted the salad the next day and it had a lovely flavor. Still not too strong but the flavor definitely was more intense. Last thing I tried the scapes in was this pasta dish. I sauteed 2 chopped scapes in garlic but didn't feel like it gave enough garlic flavor so I added some fresh as well. They were still crunchy this way which I didn't really expect. Overall the flavor of the grilled ramps was the best!
Farmers Market Spaghetti
1 pound of spaghetti
2 - 4 small zucchini, green and golden
1-2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 large cloves garlic, sliced
2 garlic scapes, trimmed on each side and chopped, optional
approx. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
the juice and zest of one lemon
a handful fresh basil
salt and pepper, to taste
Pecornino Romano cheese, grated, for tossing at the end and serving
Cook the spaghetti to al dente in boiling salted water. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini with the small size french fry cutter on your mandoline, use a julienne peeler or a vegetable peeler (strands will look different with a veggie peeler)and if you have amazing knife skills you can cut them into thin sticks.
In a large saute pan heat oil and add garlic scapes, sliced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until garlic is cooked and lightly browned but not burnt. Add chopped tomatoes and use your wooden spoon to break them up. If any skins separate from the flesh remove them if you can. Season with salt and fresh black pepper, stir. Add the zucchini and toss in the oil and season zucchini with more salt and pepper. Let zucchini cook for a couple of minutes until slightly wilted with a slight bite to it but not hard. Taste it and you'll know when the consistency is right for you. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, basil and stir. Add the cooked spaghetti and toss with the zucchini. Toss with some pecorino romano cheese and serve.
I'm in love with this dish! Please try it!!!
Click here for a printable version of this dish.