|Pappardelle and Vegetable Ribbons|
Each spring I find myself anxious to grow things. This year especially brings with it an excitement and eagerness for the growing season to start. After an exceptionally long and stormy winter with extra low temperatures and prolific snows, it seems everyone I come in contact with is just as anxious for buds to open and flowers to bloom.
I've just started my seeds and each day I check them like a child peeking under the tree at Christmastime in expectation of wonderful things to come. So far the bush beans have begun to sprout in earnest and the cucumbers are just pushing out from inside their hulls, tiny green dots at the end of each off white seed.
The raised bed frame has been purchased and trellises stand at the ready in the garage. Now to dig out an area large enough and get to it. I do so love to grow things; possibly the reason I have seven children ... who knows.
Once the seedlings are hardened off and ready to head to their beds of dark rich soil, the waiting and watching will begin. My favorite has always been zucchini. First the leaves will grow on long stalks and umbrella outward to form a canopy underneath which tiny flower buds will grow. The ones with stems are males, which will result in no fruit but make excellent shells for creamy goat's cheese flecked with herbs. They will then be dipped in a light tempura-like batter to be fried until golden and enjoyed one lovely bite at a time. The flowers themselves taste faintly of the fruit the female blossoms provide and the color is a beautiful deep yellow ... just like summer.
Once the squash have grown and are ripe for the picking, we consume them in every way thinkable; Stuffed, roasted, grilled, raw on salads and sandwiches, in place of crackers for healthier bites, and in this way: peeled into thin ribbons, served with vegetables prepared the same way and with long, long beautiful pappardelle noodles.
It's summer in a dish, one of my very favorites.
Pappardelle and Veggetable Ribbons
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
1 medium zucchini
1 medium summer squash
1 large carrot
8 ounces pappardelle pasta
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 Tablespoon of juice
1/2 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup finely shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1. Heat a large pot of water and salt to boiling - 4 quarts of water to 1 Tablespoon salt.
2. Scrub vegetables and dry well. Using a vegetable peeler, run it slowly down the length of each vegetable, making ribbons of each -discard the center portions if seeds are too large.
3. Stir together olive oil, garlic and lemon zest in a large serving bowl. Set aside.
4. Cook pappardelle in boiling salted water according to package directions. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the vegetable ribbons.
5. Meanwhile stir together oil, garlic, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper.
6. Drain pasta and veggies and add to bowl with oil mixture. Toss well and stir in parsley, walnuts and Parmesan. Serve hot in shallow pasta bowls.