Here is one more recipe for you to use up all your zucchini. I created it back in the summer of 1983 for the first Zucchini Festival in Hayward, California. I knew that my pasta with zucchini and ricotta salata wouldn't be a good choice so I came up with a recipe made with pureed zucchini. It almost looks like a pesto sauce.
The recipe was so good that it won first place in the main dish category. Everybody loves this dish and it is especially popular with kids - they eat it not knowing that it is made with zucchini.
The puree is so lush that most people think it contains butter and cream. It has neither. My original recipe did include butter, as an attempt to appeal to Americans, but over the years I dropped it and the dish remains sufficiently rich. You can make it several hours ahead and it also freezes well.
It is an easy recipe to make; the sauce has only zucchini, onion, garlic, parsley, basil and a bouillon cube that gives it its very rich taste.
In the 80s it was very popular in Italy to throw a bouillon cube into everything--that's how I happened to put it in this sauce. I tried making the dish without it once and the taste just wasn't the same. I use the Knorr chicken bouillon cubes, butyou can use their vegetable flavor if you prefer .
Saute the onion and garlic until soft:
Add the zucchini, parsley, basil and crumbled bouillon cube:
Cook at low heat until it is very soft and smashes easily:
Then puree it in a blender until you have a smooth sauce:
Put the sauce in a skillet, add some cheese and add the drained pasta to the sauce. Toss the pasta until well coated.
Let me know what you think of it.
Pasta con crema di zucchine
(Pasta with zucchini and herb puree)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 pound zucchini, halved or quartered lengthwise, then sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 chicken bouillon cube (preferably Knorr brand), crushed
2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for passing
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lb of Rigatoni, Penne or other type of short pasta
Grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese to taste
1. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add the zucchini, basil, parsley and the crumbled bouillon cubes.
2. Cook, uncovered, over low heat for about 20 minutes, until the zucchini are fully cooked and soft. If the zucchini seem dry, add a small amount of water to continue cooking until soft. It should look like a mush of zucchini. Taste for salt. If needed add salt to taste. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
3. When the zucchini are cooked, place the mixture in a blender and puree until you have a smooth sauce.
4. Bring the water for the pasta to a boil, add salt to taste, and cook the pasta until al dente.
5. While the pasta is cooking, place the sauce in a large sauté pan, and add the grated cheese. Mix well.
6. When the pasta is ready, drain, and add to the sauce, raising the heat and stirring until the pasta is well coated. Sprinkle with more cheese and serve at once.
Copyright 2005, Rosetta Costantino. All rights reserved.