Throughout Italy, various villages and towns hold an annual sagra or festival, very often dedicated to a specific locally grown or produced food, such as frogs, chestnuts or onions, or a local dish such as frico, polenta or risotto. A quick search of the various sagre in Italy will reveal many festivals devoted to pumpkin but not to zucchini. If you think about it, the pumpkin or Zucca is the Zucchino‘s much bigger sister. Orange versus green. Female versus male, fat and rounded versus thin and elongated. Anything you can do with a pumpkin can be adapted to the zucchino; stuff, fry, bake, layer, grate and soup them. Oh and pickle them too.
It’s high time to announce my own Zucchini Sagra. Come along and try my new zucchini recipes this month, or better still, suggest some more unusual ways of using this prolific garden beast.
My first recipe marries some young zucchini with prawns, spaghetti and mint in a rich sauce. The links at the bottom of this post will take you to some of my previous posts on this wonderful annual vegetable.
Spaghetti con Zucchini, Gamberi e Menta Serves four people.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 small zucchini, halved lengthways then sliced in half moon rounds
- pinch of crumbled dried chilli
- 2 anchovy fillets
- 100 ml dry white wine
- 40 gr butter
- 24 large uncooked green prawns
- 200 gr spaghetti ( see notes below)
- 16 or so mint leaves, torn
- handful of flat parsley finely chopped
- sea salt and black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
- Meanwhile add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large non stick pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for 2- 3 minutes until coloured. Add the chilli and anchovies, squash them into the oil, then add the wine. Allow the wine to evaporate a little then add the butter. Bring to the boil for a minute or so, then add the prawns, stir about then remove from the heat.
- Cook the spaghetti in the boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, then add to the prawns. Pop the pan over high heat, tossing and stirring to combine all the ingredients. Add the parsley and mint. As soon as the prawns are opaque, remove from the heat.
- Season with salt and pepper and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Serve.
- The amount of spaghetti specified in this recipe would be suitable for an entrée or light luncheon.
- I would suggest adding more pasta to the pot, say, around 80 g per person, for a main meal, with a green salad on the side.
- I also used a large non stick wok, which is a better utensil to hold the volume of ingredients for the final tossing.
- The sauce, made up of oil, garlic, anchovy, wine and butter, is an excellent base for any marinara you might make.
From Cook Like an Italian, Tobie Puttock 2010.
More zucchini recipes on Almost Italian:
Zucchini with calamari and Radicchio
Next Post, The Zucchini Fritter With Masses of Herbs