Like every other gardener, we have zucchini (or courgettes), and lots of them. While I no longer turn my nose up at any food, zucchini is on the “tolerate” list, and I don’t usually look for ways to use it. I was pleasantly surprised a couple weeks ago to find that I really liked zucchini in a ratatouille at a wedding at our church. It seemed like a simple recipe, and while you could still taste the “squashiness”, the entire dish was wonderful. I think that experience put me in a place to willfully use the zucchini we have sitting on the counter. This one came from Pizzeria: The Best of Casual Pizza Oven Cooking by Evan Kleiman, and it turned out well, even though I did not have the courgette blossoms.
- 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, plus oil as needed
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 russet or golden-fleshed potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
- 1 zucchini, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise and the cut crosswise into half-moons
- 1/2 lb. green beans, ends trimmed and strings removed
- 1/4 lb. zucchini flowers, stamens removed (optional)
- 1/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh basil
- freshly ground pepper
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 lb. dried Italian linguine
- 2 tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a frying pan over medium-low heat, warm the 1/4 cum olive oil. Add the shallot and garlic and saute for a few seconds, stirring frequently, just until the flavors are released. Add the potatoes and saute, gently tossing once or twice, until just tender, about 7 minutes. Add zucchini, greenbeans, and zucchini flowers (if using), and basil. Continue sauteing, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
While vegetables are cooking, feel a deep pot three-fourths full with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and stir a few times to prevent it from sticking together or to the pan. Cook until al dente, 7-8 minutes or according to the package directions. Scoop out and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Drain the linguine thouroughly in a colander.
Immediately place the sauteed vegetables with all their juices and the reserved cooking water in a large shallow pasta bowl. Add the linguine and butter, toss to mix well and serve immediately. Pass Parmesan cheese at the table.