June 14, 2012

Inspiration from My Garden

This morning as I looked out the bedroom window down onto the garden, I saw two large zucchini blossoms. When I went downstairs, saw one was a boy-- blossom only and there were two zucchini's.

Andrea adores eating things fresh from the garden and zucchini has so much more flavor when you harvest it tiny. The Florentine zucchini is thinner and has ridges going down the length of the zucchini and to me, has a rich almost meaty taste to it.

I decided to play with a recipe I had once before at a winery lunch, zucchini and saffron, then finishing it off like a carbonara with a raw egg yolk and parmesan cheese.

I simply sauteed one small red onion in extra virgin olive oil, added the sliced zucchini, a pinch of salt and a splash of water. I think added what was left of my saffron harvest from last year. The red threads in the middle of the pan. The saffron needs to be in hot liquid to give off its flavor.

As the zucchini stewed, I put the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water to cook, and little by little added some of the pasta water to the zucchini to stew. You can see the saffron threads getting softer and fatter and the broth picking up the color.

When the pasta was almost done, 8 minutes instead of the normal 10 minutes, I lifted it out of the cooking water and placed in the pan with the zucchini to finish cooking, "Risotto-style". That way the saffron flavor and color gets into the pasta itself.

Meanwhile, I separated an egg and saved just the yolk.
When the pasta was cooked, I turned off the heat under the pasta and added the egg to the pasta.
There was still some broth in the pan and I quickly broke the yolk and stirred.

I added some grated parmesan cheese at the same time.

bright yellow yolks from corn fed chickens- full of flavor

The yolk with the parmesan cheese blend with the broth to make what looks like a light cream sauce.

Tuscan husband approved!!

Serve with more parmesan on the side.


  1. Judy, that looks amazing! Putting it in the must try file.

  2. It has to taste even better from a Tuscan stove, doesn't it?

  3. Lovely! Our zucchini look just like yours... we should have some more by the weekend. No saffron crocus - but you made me order some to plant in August. It'll be interesting to see how they work out in Philadelphia.

  4. Yum Yum ... I know what I'm having for lunch today! Thank you.

  5. Hope you didn't waste the flowers. In cyprus where I live we stuff them with rice, onions, nuts etc and they are a local favourite.

  6. Wow! Thanks a lot for this recipe. It looks really delicious.

  7. Wow, Judy what divine inspiration. I must try this. And I agree with you about your zucchini. I grow some that look lie that - called Romanesco, and meaty is the perfect word to describe them.

  8. So jealous! We won't be able to get up to our garden in Todi for two weeks. But by then we should have tons of zucchini. Can't wait to try this recipe.

  9. Cooking from ingredients fresh from the garden really makes all the difference.

  10. This looks fabulous and I'm feeling some pangs of envy. I no longer grow veggies in my garden and right now wish I had some baby zucchinis!