”….Hot July brings cooling showers, apricots and gillyflowers.”
We’ve certainly had the cooling showers of late but I would exchange the gillyflowers with golden squash blossom flowers. Not quite a rhyme but we are definitely finding a plethora of these delicate golden blossoms despite the drought.
Around here one usually sees these summer golden beauties fried up with a little cheese inside.
Looking at the pile of fresh blossoms got us thinking of other ways to enjoy and preserve the taste of summer sunset.
Not wanting to overpower the delicate, slightly floral and raw squash flavor, we selected a pappardelle noodle. Wide enough to get a hold of and easy to robe in any flavorful sauce there may be.
Sauce. Hum, we love using a little goat cheese with a tiny dash of nutmeg on fresh sautéed zucchini, maybe a squeeze of lemon too. Eureka! Lemon pappardelle and we’ll call it Summer Sunset Pasta.
Summer Sunset Pasta
Enzo olive oil
1 pat of butter
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
½ c Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
12 zucchini blossoms, quartered lengthwise. Stems removed.
6 saffron threads
1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth, preferably homemade ½ c pasta water 1 package lemon pappardelle (Trader Joes) plain goat cheese (Cheve) 1 egg yolk
Nutmeg Pecorino Romano, finely grated
Put a large pot of salted water over high heat; this will be your pasta pot.
In a large skillet, warm a splash of olive oil and the butter over medium heat. Add the red onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta until just about al dente. You want it a touch firm as it finishes cooking in the pan with the other ingredients. Remember to save the ½ cup pasta water!
In the pan with the onions, add the zucchini blossoms, a pinch or two of salt, and the saffron, stirring gently. Add about ¾ cup of broth, and stir to combine.
Raise the heat to medium-high and add the rest of the broth a splash or two at a time, taking about 5-8 minutes to add it all.
Now add the cooked pasta and the ½ c pasta water. Stir to incorporate everything well. Allow the sauce to simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and a thin veil of broth remains in the pan. Remove from the heat.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk slightly with a fork. Add the goat cheese, about ¼ inch slice; mix together well.
Use a small measuring cup scoop up about 3 Tbs of pasta water and, whisking constantly with a fork, gradually add the hot water to the egg cheese mixture: together, they should make a loose, pale yellow liquid. Pour this mixture into the sauce in the skillet, stirring well.
Serve, topped with grated Pecorino & the tiniest dash of nutmeg.
Yield: 4 servings