Happy New Year! Buon Anno!
With the new year and a cold winter in some parts of the globe (we've had a wet one here in Tuscany), why not try a new recipe to help warm the bones?
|We've had a lot of these rainy days lately! |
(View from Ponte Vecchio)
This recipe is an adaptation of "Ziti alla Zucca" by Mario Batali. I ran across it when Simone brought home a couple large slices of zucca from the supermarket one day. I had NO clue how to fix it into something delicious. Zucca is the Italian word for pumpkin or squash. The only way I had ever had pumpkin before was in pie or roll form. Both delicious, but I had no clue how to make either thing from the real thing. Whenever I made a pumpkin pie in the US, I used the canned stuff.
So I searched the interwebs for a zucca recipe. Thank you Mario. You saved me.
I made a few tweaks to it to fit my purposes. This is my version. My Tuscan heartily approved...so much so that he brought home more zucca a week later!
You're going to need some olive oil, an onion, garlic, pumpkin, salt, parsley, pasta, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
First things first. Cut up the zucca/pumpkin into little julienne strips.
Then chop up your onion and your garlic clove.
Throw all three into a big pan with some olive oil and cook it for one minute over high heat.
Add a cup of water, season it with some salt (you can use some pepper too, if you'd like, but I don't), lower the heat and cover it. Let it cook for about 8 or 10 minutes until the zucca is soft. Then add the parsley. And by the way, when I say parsley, I mean the flat-leaved, Italian kind. Always!
Meanwhile, cook your pasta until it's al dente. What kind of pasta, you ask? Well, that's up to you. I used pipe rigate shaped pasta because that's what I had in the cupboard. Anything that will capture the sauce like rotini or penne...those would work.
Save about a half cup or so of the pasta water and drain the rest. Add the pasta water and pasta to the zucca sauce and cook it for about a minute or two (until the water is absorbed) over high heat.
Serve it up topped with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano! This is some good stuff! You won't look at a pumpkin in the same way!
Pasta con Zucca (serves 4)
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 pound (approximately 0,5 kg) zucca (pumpkin), cut into julienne strips
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
200 grams dried pasta
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
In a large pan, heat the oil over high heat and add onion, garlic and zucca and cook for 1 minute. Add the water and salt to taste. Lower the heat to medium and cover. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin is soft, approximately 8-10 minutes. Add chopped parsley and heep warm.
Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving approximately 1/2 - 3/4 cup of pasta water. Add pasta water and pasta to cooked sauce and toss over high heat for approximately 1-2 minutes over high heat, until the water is absorbed.
Serve topped with plenty of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.