Who doesn’t love pasta? I’ve never heard anyone say they dislike pasta, or Italian food for that matter. I don’t know a whole lot about Italian cuisine but I do know that I love it. I consider pasta one of my comfort foods and a basic meal that we always have ingredients for. It can be prepare in no time and one meal that is pretty hard to mess up. Well, just don’t over cook the pasta noodles and you’ll be off to a great start. I didn’t grow up eating pasta, or Italian food, so the only times that I got to eat it was out in restaurants. Of course pasta became a favorite and what I ordered when we went out for Italian. As good as the Italian food was in the states it’s nothing compared to eating in Italy. I’ll never forget sitting on a quiet sidewalk cafe in Florence taking that first bite of ravioli. Simply Wow! Then that trip to Rimini with the simple yet heavenly pasta with clams. Oh yeah both cities are also ancient magical places, I didn’t just eat pasta….Okay maybe I did.
When it comes to pasta I like it simple. In my personal preference I rate simple pastas tossed with just olive oil first, then tomato sauce pastas, and last preference are cream based pastas. Now that spring is here and with summer on the way, simple and light pastas are what I crave over the others. You can toss in some fresh seasonal vegetables, a bruschetta on the side, serve a light wine and you’ve got yourself a fabulous meal that is ready in about 30-45 minutes. I came up with this recipe a couple of weeks ago when I was feeling both lazy and uninspired. My husband and I loved the pasta so much that I’ve made it several times already. I hope you guys enjoy the recipe and remember it can be altered to your personal taste.
* I’d also like to thank Saverio from Ariosto (http://www.ariosto.it/ ) spices for sending me the fantastic selection of spices to add to my cooking. They smell wonderful and taste fantastic. Plus I love that they don’t have MSG. Grazie Ariosto! *
Spicy Spaghetti with grated Zucchini
1 large zucchini, grated
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced
1/2 tsp salt, adjust to taste
1 tsp. Ariosto Garlic Chile spice ( Aglio e peperoncino)
1 pack of spaghetti (or other pasta if you like)
1 tbsp. (evoo) olive oil, good quality
ground black pepper, to taste
cherry tomatoes, halved
arugula or rocket dandelion greens, to taste
extra olive oil to coat pasta
1. Heat the water for the pasta. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and coat with olive oil, sprinkle some salt and ground black pepper for extra flavor.
2. While the pasta is cooking : Heat oil and over low heat saute garlic for 2 minute, do not allow to burn or turn golden. Then add the shredded zucchini, sprinkle salt, pepper and Ariosto spice. Stir often to prevent burning, allow to saute for 5 more minutes. Add the zucchini to the pasta and toss until the zucchini is well distributed. Please notice the zucchini will tend to clump together so you’ll have to keep separating it to better distribute it through the pasta. You could also just grate and add the zucchini without cooking but I prefer to cook it first. Add the tomato halves, taste and adjust salt if necessary. Serve with fresh arugula or rocket greens on top or it can also be tossed in with the tomatoes.
If you would like some meat in your pasta I suggest chicken. Simply cook chicken breast in a little olive oil with garlic, salt, pepper, and a dried oregano or basil. Slice into to strips and toss or serve on top of the pasta.
I’d also like to tell you that my friends at The Ardent Epicure now have a phone App so please stop by and get all the details. http://www.theardentepicure.com/2011/04/announcement-weve-gone-mobile.html How exciting and congrats to the 3 of you!
My friend Gina’s (formerly from What’s For Dinner Across State Lines) new site SPCookieQueen has a new Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001993222785) please make sure you update that and the new url, http://www.spcookiequeen.com/ .