Zucchini, Ziti and more

Winter, please leave us alone.  Please?

While the whole foodie world is going crazy over what is now ramp season, Nic and I decided to go straight to summer, not pass go, and have us a little Z&Z.   The wifey got our inspiration while watching good ole Lidia Bastianich on the tube making a cool looking side dish of zucchini, capers, olives and anchovies.  Mrs. B hinted that it works as either a standalone vegetable dish or over pasta.  In Lidia we trust, so we went for it and added a little spin of our own.

Technically we didn’t use ziti, but I’m a Jew so what do I know.  Just be glad I didn’t add gefilte fish or shmaltz.  Besides, I didn’t think zucchini and rigatoni sounded as good for a tag line.  Actually I don’t even think these are rigatoni either, since they have a slight twist to them, but I am too lazy to go downstairs and read the package.  Ziti it is.

 

Z&Z

(Serves 2 pigs or 4 people)
  • 1 lb pasta (rigatoni, ziti, bowties, you call it)
  • 6 medium size zucchini, cut into wedges about the size of your macaroni (not “your” macaroni per se, “the” macaroni)
  • handful or two of spinach
  • bunch of peas
  • 4 tbl olive oil
  • 4-6 anchovies, yeah dog, I said anchovies!
  • 1 tbl capers
  • 1 cup gaeta olives.  These are the wrinkly looking black ones.  They taste a little soapy to me, but it works well in this dish.
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper as needed.
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (or more)
  • a little grated cheese

Directions

  • To make the pasta, blah, blah, blah salt the water, no oil, etc.  Do I really need to tell you how to cook pasta?  What kind of a foodie are you?  Cook the snot out of the pasta until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, back at the ranch, heat up the oil in a large pan and fry up and mash the anchovies until dissolved
  • Add the crushed red pepper and garlic
  • When the garlic just starts turning golden, add the zucchini
  • Keep the heat cranked and leave everything alone until the zucchini gives up the liquid and starts to caramelize.  You can cover the pan for a few minutes to soften ’em up
  • When the zucchini looks nice and ready, add the olives, capers and spinach
  • As the spinach wilts, add the drained pasta using some of the pasta water if things get too dry.
  • Turn off the heat, and add the frozen peas.
  • Stir once or twice and serve.

Take that winter, don’t let the door hit you on the ass…and spring, you can take your fancypants scallion ramp thingies with you too.