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.
(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
- 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.