Monday, August 11, 2008
Fettuccine with Zucchini Ribbons
Due to my novice gardening skills, I planted way to many zucchini seeds, so now I am looking for unique recipes to use up all the zucchini that I am picking on a daily basis. I have already frozen about 30 cups of shredded zucchini for making bread, and I want to eat as much as I can of it while it is fresh. I found this recipe for Fettucine with Squash Ribbons while listening to an NPR podcast. It seemed like an interesting way to try zucchini, and I always love pasta dishes.
-12 oz whole-wheat or regular fettuccine
-1 package (4 links) fully cooked chicken sausage (I used sun-dried tomato chicken sausage), sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch slices
-2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
-3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved crosswise
-3 medium zucchini, trimmed, skins removed, and peeled into thin strips (I just used a vegetable peeler to do this, I peeled around the zucchini until I reached the seeds, there is a video in the NPR article that demonstrates how to do this)
-2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
-2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
-1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
-Salt and pepper to taste
-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
-Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving
-Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add fettuccine and cook according to the package directions. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water and drain.
-Meanwhile, add one tablespoon of olive oil to a non-stick skillet and heat to medium. Add the chicken sausage and cook, until golden brown on each side. Remove from skillet and transfer sausage to a plate to rest.
-Add the other table of olive oil to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook 3 minutes, or until the skin has softened, season with salt and pepper to taste. Add crushed red pepper if desired. Deglaze skillet with about 1/4 cup of reserved pasta-cooking water, loosening any bits from the bottom of the skillet. Remove from heat.
-Off the stove, add the zucchini ribbons to the empty pasta pot, followed by the tomato mixture, the drained pasta, the sliced chicken sausage, and one tablespoon each of basil, parsley, and oregano. Toss well to combine. If the pasta appears dry, add enough of the reserved cooking water to coat the pasta so it looks moist, but not wet.
-Divide among 4 bowls or transfer to one large serving bowl. Using a vegetable peeler shave thin strips of Parmigiano-Reggiano over the pasta. Sprinkle with the remaining basil and parsley, and serve immediately.
This is a very light pasta dish, and a great summer meal. The zucchini ribbons blend well with the pasta, and add a nice contrast in texture. There is hardly any sauce so make sure to season the dish well. Also, this dish is perfect with some crusty bread to soak up the tomato broth that is created by the addition of the reserved pasta water.