I love my new julienne peeler. Never mind that I cut myself with it – twice – before it ever pierced the flesh of a vegetable. But with its help, I soon had long, spaghetti-like ribbons of zucchini and dinner on the way.
This isn’t the sort of pasta dish that lands with a thud in your belly. So many flavors, yet entirely delicate.
Growing up, we always had a glut of zucchini in the garden this time of year. We would try to pick the squash young, but invariably would find sneaky giants big enough to use as a bludgeon. Instead we stuffed them with meat and tomatoes and served them topped with melted cheese.
Here in Bend, gardening is more challenging. We planted three squash plants months ago and have harvested one zucchini. One.
Perhaps you’ve had better luck and have some zucchini in need of a recipe. This is it. The cooking part of this dish amounts to boiling pasta. While it cooks you’ll julienne the zucchini, juice and zest a lemon, chop green olives and shred some cheese. Pouring the steaming pasta water over the zucchini cooks it just enough; then toss everything together and dinner’s ready.
Zucchini Spaghetti with Olives Pecorino and Pine Nuts
- 1 zucchini sliced into very thin strips (as with a julienne peeler)
- 4 ounces spaghetti
- 1/2 lemon juice and zest
- pinch crushed red pepper
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped green olives
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ounce shredded pecorino cheese
Place the strips of zucchini into a colander; sprinkle lightly with salt and set over a bowl to drain.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
Meanwhile, combine lemon juice and zest, crushed red pepper, olives and pine nuts in a large bowl.
When spaghetti is al dente, pour over zucchini in colander to drain.
Add spaghetti and zucchini to olive mixture and gently toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with pecorino and serve.