Longer ago than I care to admit, I remember my dad’s garden being overtaken by his zucchini crop. The vines spread hither and yon, gobbling up everything in their path and there were some very hefty zucchini to deal with. Back then I wasn’t cooking much but nowadays zucchini is a staple in my repertoire and my dinner tonight just reaffirmed my delight in this versatile vegetable.
Before I get to the recipe though, here’s another quick lunch that I saw Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall prepare on one of his many programs at River Cottage. He simply sautéed a chopped zucchini (or courgette as he calls them) in a little bit of garlic and olive oil on top of the stove. While this is going, toast some thick slices of country style bread in the oven until it’s crunchy. Now mix in a little chopped mint, salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon to the zucchini and pour the whole pan on top of the toasted bread. Top with a dollop of plain yoghurt and a little more mint and you have the most delightful summer lunch.
Now, back to my dinner tonight. My darling husband was supposed to be on his way home from Moscow this evening and so I thought this would be the perfect welcome home meal. Alas, if you’ve seen the news, you know what’s going on in Cairo and he’s been sent there instead. So this was dinner for one (and well worth the effort) and will be delicious at room temperature for lunch tomorrow. This is a great way to use up any leftover corn on the cob you might have around or do as I did and use frozen corn. You could also incorporate halved cherry tomatoes if you have some needing to be eaten.
1/2 pound of farfalle pasta
8 slices of bacon
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch of chilli flakes
1 large zucchini, cut in quarters and then sliced
1 cup of sweet corn
salt and pepper
4 small balls of fresh mozzarella, cut into pieces (about 1 cup total)
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
grated parmesan to serve
Boil the pasta according to package directions. I always cut my bacon into small pieces before frying – makes it easier, I think. Do this and then fry until crispy – drain on paper towels. In the remaining bacon grease (add some olive oil if needed) saute your garlic and chilli flakes for a couple of minutes, making sure not to burn. Now add your zucchini and saute for 5 minutes or so until soft and turning brown. Add the corn and season the whole thing with salt and pepper. I placed my cut up mozzarella in the bottom of my serving dish and put the freshly drained farfalle on top of it so it would start to melt. Now toss the zucchini and corn mixture and your bacon with the pasta, add the basil and season as you see fit. Finish with a little grated parmesan and you’re good to go!