Do you see a pattern? I love Marcella Hazan’s recipes. This book is a must-have in my kitchen.
This version of Marcella’s recipe means it’s spring and time to enjoy the season’s vegetables.
1 1/2 pounds zucchini ends trimmed, cut into sticks 2 1/2”long by 1/4” thick
10-12 fresh basil leaves washed, paper-towel dried, torn into pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for frying
3 garlic cloves peeled
4 tablespoon butter (you may need more!)
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus cheese for serving at table
1 pound pasta (I prefer fettuccini but it’s up to you.)
Soak zucchini in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Once they’ve had a soaking, scrub off any remaining dirt residue. Now the tricky part. Trim ends and cut the zucchini into matchstick-size pieces. This is an arduous task but trust me – this pasta is worth it. Place all zucchini sticks in a colander and toss with salt. Don’t be crazy with the salt but don’t skimp either. Place colander over a bowl to collect the moisture for a minimum of two hours. There will be a surprising amount of liquid. Check often.
Pat dry with paper towels, rinse colander as you will use it again to shake zucchini, after dredging with flour. Now – here you can prepare to fry or do the extra trick that I’ve found to really get the moisture out of the zucchini. Place the “sticks” in fresh paper towels and gently press removing the last bits of moisture. Then put back in the colander and toss with flour.
Pour vegetable oil into a frying pan up to at least 1/4” and fry the garlic. Once it browns, remove, add in zucchini and fry until golden brown.
Cook and drain pasta. Toss with butter. Add zucchini, basil, and cheese, and toss thoroughly.