Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Spicy Zucchini Spaghetti

I've been watching too much Iron Chef.

Upon finding a humongous orange zucchini at the farmer's market, I had this fabulous idea: use my julienne peeler and make mock linguini from the outermost layers of the fruit. Just like I saw them do on Iron Chef.

And I did it, too. Lightly blanched in salted boiling water for about a minute, the orange strands awaited my taste test. Unlike Iron Chef, however, there were no oohs and aahs from the judges; no, it tasted pretty much just like spaghetti squash, only with more bitterness from the large zucchini's tough skin.

Being the (self-proclaimed) queen of improvisation, however, I determined to make the dish more palatable. I tossed the blanched zucchini "linguine" with cooked spaghetti, and made a sauce of pancetta, olive oil, onions, garlic, dried red pepper flake and cubed zucchini.

The spaghetti blended with the zucchini "linguine" perfectly--the bitterness was balanced, and the texture was just right. The sauce was spicy, with sweetness from the almost caramelized onions and cubed zucchini. I could eat a truckload of this stuff!

Spicy Zucchini Spaghetti
serves 2

1 ounce pancetta, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon red pepper flake (or to taste)
pinch salt (the pancetta is salty, so be careful here)
few grinds black pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups cubed zucchini (avoid too many seeds)
cooked spaghetti, or a combination of cooked spaghetti and blanched zucchini "linguine"
grated parmigiana romano cheese (optional)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute pancetta for about 5 minutes to render fat. Add olive oil and onion; cook, stirring often, until onion is beginning to brown.

Toss in red pepper flake, salt, black pepper, garlic and cubed zucchini; continue to cook until zucchini is tender--about 10 more minutes. Toss with cooked pasta and sprinkle with cheese, if desired.

There's still time to enter for my giveaway! Deadline is this Friday, August 1!


Gloria said...

This look absolutely delicious Amanda!! love zuchinis! Gloria

Amanda said...

Thanks, Gloria. It was really good!

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