Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mafalde Corte with Zucchini

I decided to try another type of Garofalo pasta (since so many Italian bloggers talk about it) and I though that with zucchini this format, called mafalde corte, would work well. And it did!!!

500 g pasta
Rock salt for the water.

for the sauce:
4 zucchini
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salted water from the pasta (very important ingredient, read more later)
Freshly grated pepper (optional)
Freshly chopped Italian Parsley

Wash and cut the zucchini and saute in a large pan with the garlic and olive oil. Stir often, the zucchini should not burn! They actually contain quite a bit of water, so if you turn the heat down you should be able to cook them by themselves for about 15 minutes (as long as you stir often!!). Start cooking the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water, and keep your pot near the zucchini pan. When the zucchini finally start to dry up ad stick to the pot add a first ladle of water from the pasta.

Now, using the salted and starchy water from the pasta is normal in Italy, it is used to thin sauces, add taste, and even salt (since the pasta's water is usually very salted). But if the pasta is of very good quality, if it is a type that takes longer to cook, and it the sauce is white or green, rather that red (i.e., pesto, cheese, zucchini and other green vegetables, rather than tomato based sauces), the cooking water from the pasta becomes, in my opinion, the best ingredient you can add to it - and most people outside Italy don't know it!!!

I find it particularly suited to the zucchini, because it gives them a kind of butter. Basically all you have to do is to add a few ladles, one by one, of pasta's water, always simmering very gently, and stirring often. Taste for salt, and if you like add some freshly grated pepper. At the end add some chopped parsley, drain the pasta and stir into the zucchini pot, and serve.

It may look simple from the photo, but this was one of the best tasting zucchini pasta I had made, and if you are not a Vegan you may be fooled to believe that there is butter in the sauce.
I swear it tasted like it had lots of butter, instead nothing: just salted water from the pasta!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. Fantastic! Now I cannot choose between this and the polenta!