Spaghetti with Zucchini and Peas - A Light and Refreshing Alternative to Tomato Sauce and Meatballs
A few days ago, a friend of mine dropped by with a bag of zucchini, fresh-picked from his father's farm in the countryside. The variety of zucchini in the bag was amazing. In addition to the typical green variety you see in supermarkets around the world, there was one that stood out in particular.
This one was quite a large specimen and spherical in shape, resembling a pumpkin more than a zucchini. My mind immediately started thinking, trying to imagine all the different ways I could prepare this unusual zucchini. After coming up with a half dozen ideas, I decided that the weather was too hot to slave over the stove.
Instead, I decided to keep things fresh, simple and light and it would include pasta. I already had a vision of what my plate of spaghetti would look like and I was excited. Inspired by the beauty of the bright and beautiful yellow skin of that sperical-shaped zucchini, I knew I wanted to complement it with another in-season vegetable. And in this case, I decided to go with some fresh peas.
To keep it light and fresh, I also added some fresh lemon juice for acidity, as well as a sprinkling of fresh lemon zest oh the top. The pasta is simply seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and extra-virgin olive oil in order to bring out the flavors of the fresh vegetables.
- Cook your pasta al dente. making sure it still has some bite to it.
- Use good quality extra-virgin olive oil for best taste
- Use more or less lemon juice depending on how tart you like the dish
- Refrigerate for a beautiful cold pasta salad
- 400 grams pasta
- 1 cup zucchini, sliced
- 1/2 cup peas ( fresh or frozen )
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Lemon zest from 2 lemons
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Cook pasta according to package directions or until al dente.
- Drain pasta and set aside.
- Add garlic into a pan and saute in olive oil for 1 minute.
- Add zucchini slices and peas and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are just cooked.
- Add lemon juice and cook for just a few seconds.
- Add drained pasta and toss quickly in pan to coat.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Plate the spaghetti and top with lemon zest.
- Serve with a liberal drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
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When I first encountered real Italian food on a trip through Italy, It was then that I finally learned to truly appreciate pasta. This book includes much information on how to select the right sauce for the particular pasta, including authentic recipes that will have you cooking just like the Italians do.