Thursday, June 1, 2017

Day One Not quite a disaster. Campanelle with zucchini, leek, & sundried tomatoes


This was to be the glorious kickoff to a year of pasta, and perhaps someday I will see it that way.  But for now tonight is anything but glorious.  Two of our cook top burners have been misbehaving, and we are waiting on replacement parts to correct matters.  However they have been rather slow in coming, and I’ve been cooking with only two burners for over a month.  And tonight one of those two decided it had enough, and gave me the finger, leaving me with only one burner.  With all of my usual humility I must say, a lesser man than me would have given up and called out for pizza, but you know me.  Always the tiger!  I carried on, and in the end, was rewarded with a very nice dinner.  My only regret is that I had to eat it alone.  Patience wanted to be here but had meetings that her sense of civic duty required her presence.

1.     Leek – white and light green part sliced crosswise
2.     Zucchini slices
3.     Garlic
4.     Celery
5.     Olive Oil
6.     Anchovy paste or 3 anchovies in oil finely chopped
7.     Sun dried tomatoes in oil coarsely chopped
8.     White wine
9.     Parsley
10. Pasta – Campanelle


Cook the leek, celery, anchovy, and garlic in olive oil until soft, then add the zucchini, and cook over medium high heat until the zucchini begins to brown. Reduce the heat, add the tomatoes, parsley, and wine and simmer while the past cooks.  Add the cooked pasta to the sauce with some pasta water if needed. Serve with you favorite grating cheese and wine.


In spite of the frustrations with the cook top, the results were very satisfying. The uniqueness of this dish is cooking the soffrito and zucchini over high heat to get then browned and almost caramelized.  There are a number of options here: Tomato paste, or fresh tomatoes in place of the sun dried tomatoes, shallots in place of leek, Sweet Vermouth instead of white wine, and long pasta instead of shaped pasta.  I’m sure you can think of even more.

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