Spring, for some reason, makes us desperate for green food. Maybe because back in THE DAY green food was only plentiful in the spring. Actually, I’m pretty sure that’s the reason, but – no matter, this pasta will make you dance with joy! And you will sing, “spring is here!” or not. But really try this pasta. Loosely based on Marcella Hazan’s recipe.
1½ pounds zucchini ends trimmed, cut into sticks 2½” long by ¼” thick
8 or so fresh basil leaves, washed, paper towel dried, rolled and chopped
½-cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for frying
3 – 5 garlic cloves, peeled (or garlic infused oil)
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus cheese for serving at table
1-pound of fresh pasta like fettuccine
Soak zucchini in cold water for a half an hour after scrubbing off the dirt residue. Trim ends cut into sticks (matchstick sized). Toss with salt a few times. Put in the colander, salt, and place in sink and let the liquid drain for a minimum of two hours. Mostly I let it drain for two hours and then I take four or five paper towels, drop all of the zucchini sticks on the towel, wrap it up and let the towels soak the rest of the juice out of the zucchini. This is essential for the zucchini to fry correctly. Then pat dry with more paper towels. Drop zucchini back in the colander and sprinkle with flour. Shake off excess. Pour vegetable oil in frying pan up to at least ¼” and fry the garlic. Once it browns, remove, add in zucchini and fry until golden brown. Try really hard not to eat all of the crispy zucchini as it comes out of the pan. Save some for the pasta. Trust me, you won’t be sorry.
Cook and drain pasta. Toss with butter. Add zucchini, basil, cheese, toss thoroughly.
This is the perfect spring food. You will eat ALL OF IT and then groan. But it will be worth it. Have I ever steered you wrong? I mean except that one time in college?