Friday, June 19, 2009

Zucchini spaghetti

It's sweltering out there, and you want something fast, easy, and delicious that won't make your kitchen hotter than it already is. This recipe was inspired by smittenkitchen, and is much like Deb's, only I made it for one and exchanged basil for a mixture of chives and green onions, since I didn't have fresh basil. Here's my version:

Zucchini spaghetti

fistful of wholewheat spaghetti about the diameter of a quarter
approximately 1/2 zucchini (grocery store size), slivered with a mandoline or by hand
scant 1/4 cup olive oil
1 large garlic clove, chopped
3 green onions, white and green parts, slivered
chives (optional)
crushed red pepper
salt and black pepper
almonzano (see yesterday's post)

Put the spaghetti on to boil. When it's nearly ready, heat the olive oil in a small skillet on medium heat, then add the garlic and red pepper and cook just until the garlic and pepper are fragrant.

Add the green onions and chives and remove from heat; you don't want them cooked, just warm, and you do want the garlic to stop cooking and not scorch. Meanwhile, drop the zucchini into the boiling water with the pasta and immediately pour the whole contents of the pot into a colander to drain. Slide the drained pasta and zucchini back into the pot and add the olive oil/spice mixture, with salt and pepper to taste. Mix gently and serve topped with almonzano.

You want a heavy hand with the olive oil; not only is it lubricating the pasta, but it is imparting its own flavour to the dish. If there's some left at the bottom of your bowl, sop it up with a crust of bread and rejoice.

I had this with a green salad topped with tahini-lemon sauce. The recipe for this sauce is in the public consciousness, I believe:

Tahini-lemon sauce

1/3 cup tahini
1 clove garlic, crushed or pressed
juice of one lemon
1/4 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add water, stirring or whisking between each addition, until the sauce is pale and silky. The more you stir, the thicker it becomes as it emulsifies. For a salad dressing, a thinner sauce is nice, but this sauce is extremely versatile, great on cooked vegetables or couscous, in a wrap, chilled as a dip for pita bread or crudités or both (it will thicken as it chills), or just eaten slowly with a spoon, like ice cream, it's that good.

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