Pasta with Zucchini, Lemon, Pine Nuts and Herbs
- 1 pound corkscrew pasta (gemelli, rotelli, etc.)
- 8 ounces small, firm green or golden zucchini
- 1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs: Italian parsley, marjoram, basil, chervil, hyssop, oregano, lemon thyme and others
- 1 lemon
- 6 T extra virgin olive oil
- 5 T pine nuts
- 1 onion or 3 shallots, thinly sliced then roughly chopped
- 4 teaspoons tiny capers, rinsed in water
- 2 sun-dried tomatoes, cut into narrow strips
- salt and pepper
- Parmesan, grated fresh
Adapted from The Greens Cook Book.
Slice the zucchini diagonally into pieces about the same thickness as the pasta (matchstick size, 1/8″ or so). Line up the slices and cut them into narrow matchsticks. Each one will be tipped with green or gold. Make a selection of fresh herbs from those suggested in the ingredients list. Pull the leaves off the stems and chop them, but not too finely. Include any flowers, such as the purple flowers of the basil or pink thyme blossoms. With a vegetable peeler, remove a thin strip of peel from the lemon and cut it into fine slivers. (I grated the peel.) Heat 2 T. olive oil in a small pan and add the pine nuts. Cook them until they begin to color — watch carefully because they can start to burn quickly; then add the shallots. Cook the two together over medium low heat until the shallots are soft and the pine nuts are brown. Transfer them to a wide bowl and add the rest of the oil, the capers, lemon peel, sun-dried tomatoes and herbs. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon or so lemon juice to taste. Add salt to the boiling water, drop in the zucchini and cook it about 1 minute. Scoop it out, shake off the water, and add it to the bowl with the other ingredients. Next, cook the pasta, scoop it out and add it to the bowl as well. Toss with a pair of tongs, so that the noodles are coated with the oil and herbs. Serve with the cheese passed separately.