That time of year
Monday, September 27, 2010
We are in a strange season here, fall and Summer, all at once.
Last week I made braised artichokes, and had 3 blankets on the bed, and the next day made skordalia and baba ganoush. We ate pasta with the last of the zucchinis, and some freezer pesto.
It’s hard to get used to this weather, but I think that’s just because the calender says so. It’s been foggy and rainy and cool with intermittent warmth for a month or two, so it makes sense that now it’s finally warm. and after this will come a little more briskness in the air, later mornings, a return of damp at night.
But the calender isn’t from the northwest, and it says orange leaves, and pumpkins, and spice. It doesn’t say bright fresh tasting chili made with over-ripe tomatoes, the first tiny chilis, some marinated pork and beef. It doesn’t say that now is the season for Thai food (all the ingredients are in the market), the days to be taking a hike, and going lake swimming.
J can’t read the calender, he gets up and asks “swimming open?”, he giggles at the idea of a hike. He asks for shorts. He says it is still time for “green one” (basil). My trustiest clocks: the sky, the sun, and J.
This is a great cooler summer day dinner dish, one that J gobbles up by the handful.
1 clove garlic
6 small, firm zucchini
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
salt & pepper
1 pound fusili, or other short, stubby pasta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup mixed grated Parmesan and Pecorino
Smash and peel the clove of garlic, don't dice
Cut zucchini in to thin (1/4 to 1/8 inch) circles. into 1/8-inch-thick slices.
Warm the olive oil over a low heat with the garlic clove, for about 5 minutes, or until the oil starts sizzling.
Tear basil into thin strips.
Turn oil up to medium-high, remove the garlic (discard), and add the zucchini and 1/4 the basil. DO NOT STIR for 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add 1/4 of the basil, season with salt and pepper, put top on the pot until the pasta is ready (but not more than 10 minutes).
Meanwhile, boil water for pasta; cook pasta, reserve 1/2 c cooking water when you drain the pasta.
Combine the pasta, zucchini, butter, remaining basil, 1/4 c of cheese and 1/4 c of the reserved water. Stir to combine and taste. Add more water, salt, pepper as necessary.
Serve with the remaining cheese.