BUT - very very soon the next veggie from the gods is on its way - The very productive zucchini. Every year we promise our selves - only a few plants, because they really do produce a lot. But every time we visit the local nursery, we somehow always end up with a few more plants - and this year we have even grown the Romana zucchini from seeds...so the rows in the veggie patch are quickly being filled with zucchini plants - promising a big harvest later in the summer.
So with this many zucchini we are forced to invent new interesting ways of eating these beauties - we are constantly on the look out for new recipes and we have already covered a lot; raw, boiled, grilled, fried, deep fried, pickled, in cakes, riso, pasta, stuffed - you name it - we have been there.
The other day a new one came along - with sunny days and temperatures on the other side of 35 degrees - you want something light and fresh to eat - this simple recipe is a true treat in the summer heat - quick and easy.
General rule with zucchini - never go for the large ones in the market - keep a look out for the small ones - they tend to be more sweet and tender. Adding a little butter to the pasta sauce at the end of the cooking makes the sauce just that more creamy.
5 small/medium zucchini
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
a pinch of dried chili
1 tsp fennel seeds
sea salt and black pepper
200 g farfalle or other short pasta
1 handful fresh garden peas, blanched, optional
25 g parmesan, grated
1 tbsp soft butter
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
Meanwhile slice the zucchini in medium thick slices.
In a pan heat the olive oil, add the garlic, chili and fennel seed and saute on medium heat for a few minutes. Now add the zucchini and continue to saute for a few more minutes. You want the zucchini to brown slightly.
Once boiling add the pasta and cook according to instructions on the packet until al dente.
Now add a ladle of the pasta cooking water and cook the zucchini until tender - with the back of spoon start breaking up the zucchini, so you are creating a sauce - just give it a good bash....
Add a little more water, if it looks dry and continue to stir and break up the zucchini.
Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain, reserving some of the cooking water. Add the peas and the pasta to the sauce. Stir in parmesan and butter and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and a little lemon juice and loosen the sauce with a little extra cooking water if needed.