Saturday, October 07, 2006

A bite before the opera

For a quick but elegant and delicious dinner before you rush off to, say, Lady Macbeth of Mtensk at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, try...

Zucchini Carbonara

1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound small zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
2 medium cloves of garlic, crushed (not chopped)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

6 oz. linguini fini (or other comparable pasta shape)
1 large egg

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

6-8 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Put salted water on to boil for the pasta.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add crushed red pepper and garlic cloves and saute briefly until lightly browned. Add zucchini and saute until golden brown, about 7-8 mins. Season zucchini mixture with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente. Beat eggs in bowl and mix in grated Parmesan. When pasta is done, reserve 1/4 cup of cooking water and drain. In a large bowl, mix pasta with reserved water and egg-Parmesan mixture. Season to taste. Add zucchini and half of basil and pine nuts.

Serve topped with remaining basil and pine nuts, adding more Parmesan if desired.

Serves 2.

Variation: Replace pine nuts with walnuts, eliminate red pepper and add 1/4 cup of cream instead of pasta water for a richer, creamier version of this pasta.

Laura says, "C'est magnifique!"


Barbara Jones said...

Tam and Laura . . . what fun you are having! Any composing lately? My friend Debbie Broderick Edwards will be performing on radio in London, Monday October 9th at 7 PM.
As I understand, this is an internet site. If you would like more info about this, email me at
Love, BSJ

Barbara Jones said...

Tam and Laura . . . My friend Debbie has two piano students in Shepherds Bush and would love to meet you! She would like your email and so would I!
Love, BSJ