Want a quick springtime supper using the fresh greens in your garden. Try my Pasta Primavera with Fettuccine, Zucchini and the poor-man’s answer to Parmigiano-Reggiano: Pangrattato!
Can you believe we’re back into spring already? The year’s just come and gone by so fast. The new veggies are sprouting in the backyard and it’s time to make my favourite springtime dish – Pasta Primavera.
This dish is great because you can use any ‘green’ vegetables that are in season during spring. I’ve done many versions of this Italian classic in the past (including a pea and cream sauce, and one with asparagus and silverbeet) but I thought I’d try it with Zucchini. This one’s simple to prepare but you need make the sauce while you cook the pasta so that it’s all ready to go when you need it.
As I didn’t have any cheese in the house this dish proved to be a fantastic opportunity to give pangrattato a go. Basically, “grated bread” or breadcrumbs. Flavoured with garlic, parsley and thyme they add the perfect herby-saltiness to the hot pasta.
1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tbsp extra for the crumbs
4 medium zucchini, sliced
200g baby spinach
1 tbsp butter
100g stale bread
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp parsley leaves, finely chopped
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. return the water to the pan and keep the pasta in a warm spot. You may need to stir it from time to time to prevent it from sticking.
In the mean-time, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the zucchini and cook till softened. Add the spinach and allow it to wilt. Then stir through the pepper. Add the sauce to the pasta and stir to mix it all together.
Make the pangrattato by tearing up the bread into crumbs. Heat the remaining oil and butter in the same frying pan you used for the veggies. Add the breadcrumbs, garlic, thyme and parsley and cook over a medium heat till golden brown and toasty.
Divide the pasta amongst serving plates and sprinkle the pangrattato over the top.
Happy Cooking and Keep Smiling,