Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fettuccine with Zucchini, Lemon, Ricotta and Almonds

During its construction, this dish looked boring. I wanted something quick, easy and inexpensive yet delicious, that I could share with flatmate. I thought this little gem fitted the bill however halfway through I wasn’t so sure. There was no colour in my frying pan to lift the soggy looking zucchini and nothing screaming “eat me”.

Have I sold it to you yet? Well don’t fear, this meal was amazingly quite delicious. The subtle flavours of zucchini, lemon, ricotta and almonds combined so well that flatmate couldn’t stop assuring me it had turned out ok. I can have quite a low cooking-esteem at times and a bland looking dish when I’ve promised to cook can really get to me. I used dried fettuccine and can only imagine how sensational this would be with fresh. Italian dishes can often be so bold and rich that it’s easy to forget the effectiveness of simplicity. Just look at the best pizzas around.

I will add a humorous note and say that my quest for inexpensive nearly came undone when I took the zucchinis to the check out. They truly were mammoth, with no littlies in sight. The recipe says four medium so I thought 2 large would do the trick. When I went to leave the checkout chick informed me that “those zucchinis will be about $12, do you still want them?”. I decided it probably wasn’t necessary for two of us so I just took one. I can’t remember what the price per kilo was and whether they were particularly expensive or just so damn big.

Fettuccine with zucchini, lemon, ricotta and almonds

4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp flaked almonds
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1 cm pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 cup chicken stock
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
400g dried fettuccine (500g fresh)
125g fresh ricotta
Sea salt
Black pepper
2 tbsp flatleaf parsley, chopped.

Heat half the butter and fry almonds until golden brown. Strain to remove excess butter and reserve.
In a pan gently cook the rest of the butter, oil, zucchini, garlic, stock and lemon juice and half of the zest, covered until zucchini is quite soft (recipe says about 20 minutes but it didn’t take very long at all). Put aside. Cook fettuccine and drain. Return zucchini to simmering point, add ricotta in chunks, then pasta, then season. Tip into a warmed bowl and mix through, adding parsley and remaining lemon zest, then scatter with almonds.


Peter said...

Mmmm...delicious Ali...I do something similar with grated zucchini, ricotta and chilli...I must give this a whirl.
You're not wrong about expensive food items...I went to the butchers the other day and ordered lamb chops and he said to me "you might want to take out a 2nd mortgage for these!!!"....$12 for 2 zucchini? That is a lot for a humble veggie!!
Good recipe again!

Oh for the love of food! said...

Hey Ali!, your fettucine looks amazing and I'm sure it tasted just as. The price of the zucchini is a shocker, though! I only paid $1.29ea for mine today.

Anonymous said...

I made this dish and it was delicious! I used lemon pepper angel hair (Ronzoni) and the flavor was out of this world.
I hate to rub it in, but my dad grew the zucchini and gave it to me, so mine was free.
Thanks for the recipe. I'm always looking for something quick and easy.

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