|“Zoodles” Pappardelle made from Zucchini|
The summer season may be over but summer’s not. And for the next several weeks the farm stands will be brimming with great produce. Fall is actually a fairly long growing season and really only ends with the first frost. Out here that will likely be deep in November. So this dish is ideal for making right now and all the way into Fall. First of all, it can incorporate pretty much whatever vegetable you fancy. Secondly, it gives you something to do with that bumper crop of bumper crops, the Zucchini. In this dish you turn Zucchini into what one recipe writer called “Zoodles”. “Zoodles” are what you get when you take a vegetable peeler or a mandolin and thinly slice Zucchini into ribbons. Your left with Zucchini that resemble pappardelle noodles in width and in the way you then use your Zoodles; as a substitute for pasta in this version of arrabiata sauce.
To give credit where credit is due, I was looking around for a Zoodles recipe having loved and previously made something from Sylvia Lehrer’s “Savoring the Hamptons” which appeared here a couple of summers ago: chewingthefat.us.com/2011/09/savoring-hamptons-and-recipe-for.html. I came across a recipe from another Lehrer, this one a Suzanne who is the Culinary Manager at Plated (www.plated.com) an on-line grocer who delivers ready-to-cook dinner recipes. I altered the recipe to add corn and to use tomatoes I’d packed last summer. Sugo all’Arrabiata is a classic Italian pasta sauce. Arrabiata literally means ‘anger’ in Italian. The sauce gets that moniker because of its spicy nature. Made from garlic, tomatoes and red chili peppers cooked in olive oil, the name of the sauce is either due to the heat of the peppers or the diner’s reaction to it. Oddly, I don’t find this dish to be overly spicy at all. It may be the addition of the sweet corn and the grape tomatoes but the sauce just comes across as full of flavor and not necessarily heat. The roasted chickpeas give the dish some crunch as they added at the last moment. The almonds contribute to that aspect of the dish too. And both are high in protein, low in fat and make this dish a very health addition to your Meatless Monday. Coming in at just 640 calories for a big satisfying bowl, this is worth making whenever you want, Meatless Monday or not. And yes, it’s gluten free! Here is the recipe:
Recipe for Zucchini Pappardelle Arrabiata with Corn, Chickpeas and Almonds freely adapted from Suzanne Lehrer Takes 30-40 minutes to make. The proportions here are for 2 generous servings. It can easily be doubled.
2 cloves garlic
1⁄4 bunch basil
1 pint grape tomatoes
4 zucchini, a mixture of yellow and green Zucchini
1 15 oz can chickpeas
11⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 ears of corn, shucked and cut off the cob
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
3 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Mince garlic. Peel shallot and mince. Rinse basil and roughly chop leaves, discarding stems. Rinse grape tomatoes. Rinse zucchini. Using a vegetable peeler or a mandolin set at the thinnest possible setting, peel into wide ribbons, or using a sharp knife, very thinly slice lengthwise. Place ribbons in a bowl of cold water and set aside.
2. Now, roast the Chickpeas. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Pat dry with paper towel. On a baking sheet, toss chickpeas with 2 tablespoons olive oil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Roast until crisp, about 18 minutes.
3. While chickpeas roast, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium high- sided pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add garlic, shallot, and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant, 3 minutes. Add grape tomatoes and cook until beginning to shrivel, about 2 minutes more.
4. Add crushed tomatoes to pan, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Simmer until sauce has thickened and flavors have melded, 10-12 minutes. Taste and add salt and black pepper as needed.
5. While sauce simmers, in a small pan, arrange almonds in a single layer and place over medium heat. Cook until toasted, shaking pan occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
6. Drain zucchini. Add to pot of boiling water along with a generous pinch salt. Blanch until just bright green, 30 seconds, then drain and put into large bowls.
7. Add chickpeas, basil and pecorino to sauce. Stir, then divide evenly between 2 bowls, garnish with almonds, and serve.