Posted by: CJW | July 20, 2009

Shredded Zucchini & Carrot Cappellini

After asking John’s advice, I’ve decided that I should blog my failures as well as my successes. After all, my blog description says I’m documenting my “struggles” to live recipe-free and failures are inevitable since I lack formal culinary training. Besides, this way I can document for myself what worked and what could use some tweaking.

This one wasn’t a total failure, only a semi-failure. I think the pasta to vegetable ratio was a bit too high, resulting in less of an emphasis on the vegetable flavors I was trying to showcase and also a little too dry for my taste. But it still served its purposes of 1) trying to use up the many little zucchinis we’ve been getting from the CSA lately and 2) giving a productive form of procrastination from studying for the bar!

My inspiration was a favorite way to use zucchini during the summer– saute it in olive oil with mint and a little salt and pepper. I had some feta and kalamata olives left over from grilling pizzas with my family who were visiting last week so I thought I’d combine that with the zucchini idea and make a Greek theme out of it. Lastly, I thought carrots would add a nice sweetness and a little pop of color. I decided to shred my vegetables so they’d cook fast and would make colorful threads throughout the pasta. It cooked fast, but as you can see from the picture of it cooking in the pan, it kind of looks like coleslaw.

All in all, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. Again, I think I didn’t have enough vegetables in comparison to the pasta since every now and then when there’d be a perfect bite of all the elements, it was complex in a good way. The vegetables did not disappoint in their sweetness which was balanced by the saltiness of feta, the fruitiness of olive oil and the kalamata olives, and a little peppery bite from the fresh oregano and pepper I’d mixed in too. I still have lots of zucchinis left; maybe that’s a sign I should shred some more to mix in with my leftovers…

4 little zucchini
3 small carrots
1 very large clove fresh garlic (yielded ~2 tsp minced)
1/2 Walla Walla sweet onion, sliced thinly into half moons
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1 tbsp feta crumbled (per serving)
12 ounces fresh cappellini
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil divided
salt and pepper to taste

Heat water for pasta. Melt the butter and about 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet. Shred the zucchini and carrots– pretty fast and easy when you have a food processor with a grating blade, but can also be done with a grater using the side/section for large shreds. Cook the onion in the skillet over medium heat, careful to not let them brown, just sweating until softened. Add the shredded carrots and zucchini, cooking for about 5 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss in the mint and oregano. Salt the water and cook pasta according to package directions. When pasta is cooked, drain and add to the vegetables drizzling with the rest of the olive oil as you mix it in and adjusting seasoning to taste. Plate and top with some of the sliced olives and some feta.

CSA Count: 3
zucchini, carrots, fresh garlic

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