Friday, June 28, 2013

Pasta with Zucchini Wine Sauce


For someone who likes to cook I eat out a lot. I go to breakfast twice a week on average and one of the things this means in a small town is it's a bit like Cheers. Everybody knows your name, and you know theirs.

I wrote about really wanting a quilt for this new baby a while ago. I wrote how I wanted every special person in my life to pick a fabric for a square that I could use. I really wanted not only my family and friends, but the people I interact with on a weekly basis at my favorite restaurants to be represented on this quilt. I knew it was a long shot. It's quite the undertaking to start such things. Someone would have to care very much. And besides, it's quite awkward to ask businesses for quilting fabric, yes?

For whatever reason (maybe because she's the sweetest woman on earth) Kristy Fox who owns Freshies restaurant here in Steamboat decided to kick this off for me. Soon, I showed up at Winona's for breakfast and was greeted with a gift bag of fabric from the owner...Kristy had spread the word. The next week Creekside sent Jeremy home with fabric for me as well. You guys. I seriously cried that people who were not in my immediate family or circle of close friends cared. And because of Kristy starting it -bless that woman-, word got around and at my baby shower on Sunday (it was mostly family who was visiting from out of town who were here for my sisters wedding and a few friends...I kept it small since my family is so big!), I received several swatches of fabric and I've been told there are a few more in the mail! I'm thrilled and blessed and so excited to have this quilt made. I sat on the deck eating perfectly grilled wild salmon that my grandfather had brought and my new brother Patrick (the chef) had cooked (and I learned how to get grill marks on the flesh side of fish! While it's cooking skin side down spray the top with a bit of oil so it won't stick and flip over. Make sure the grill is perfectly clean before you begin.) There was also kale salad, Asian pasta salad, caprese salad, watermelon, guacamole, punch, beer -not for me- peach crostada, cupcakes, vegan gingersnaps...I mean it was awesome to just be able to relax and talk over great food.


Special thanks to Cindy my Mother-In-Law for hosting my shower. I am 39+ weeks pregnant and full in every sense of the a good way. I had my doctors appointment today and I'm still at zero station and have been for two weeks, but I'm also 1 1/2 cm dilated and 70% effaced! I'm so excited because I've never dilated before I actually went into labor. Any. Day. Now. Let's just let the reality of that statement settle in a minute.

It feels like I haven't been in my kitchen in forever. With the wedding and family and events we've just been eating out, but yesterday we stocked our fridge once again and I'll be playing with a few new recipes this week unless I have a baby, I guess. I made this zucchini and wine pasta right before it started to get crazy around here, and I've been really excited to share it with you. It's so good. The zucchini gets cut small and cooked in wine. Everything reduces and the zucchini melts a bit and becomes a sauce. Fresh herbs, Parmesan cheese, a bit of butter and pasta water to thicken at the end just seals the deal. I made this with 100% whole wheat pasta to up the health factor. This one is easy but decadent. We sat outside one night with a coolish breeze and slurped down our bowls. I was asked multiple times to make this again. Oh, I will, probably next week.


Pasta with Zucchini and Wine Sauce
adapted from Nigellissima, by Nigella Lawson via Health Magazine

serves 4

Salt and Pepper
16 oz penne pasta
8 scallions, thinly sliced 
4 Tablespoons garlic-flavored oil (I just added 3 cloves of garlic to the oil and cooked for a minute)
2 lbs zucchini, finely diced
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Bring a pot of water to a boil; add salt generously. Add penne and cook per package directions. Before draining, remove a cup of cooking water.

In a heavy-base pan that has a lid, cook scallions and oil over medium heat, stirring for 1 minute. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add wine letting it bubble up. Add a handful of parsley. Season generously with salt, lower heat, cover with a lid and cook until zucchini is gorgeously tender, about 10 minutes longer. Taste and season with salt again (this dish needs quite a bit of salt because of how many vegetables are used).

Tip drained pasta back into it's pot. Add zucchini sauce, the rest of the parsley, the grated cheese, and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Combine throughly and taste, adding pepper, and more cheese, salt or cooking liquid to get the consistency you want. I only needed a bit of salt for mine. Stir in the butter until melted and divide between 4 bowls.