Pasta with zucchini, cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes and capers is a simple dish, quick and tasty that can be prepared in different ways. This recipe is made with fresh tagliatelle (egg pasta) topped with zucchini and cherry tomatoes sautéed in olive oil and garlic.
This healthy and colorful first course is perfect for a light meal when you want to avoid weighing yourself down. In my opinion, pasta enhanced with fresh seasonal vegetables is best described as joy for your palate.
You can add some fresh basil leaves before serving to enrich the flavor. Seasoned ricotta adds a special flavor. I tried with straciatella and it is delicious as well.
Remember that it is always important to combine carbs with vegetables. The fiber present in the vegatables decreases the carb glycemic index.
HOMEMADE TAGLIATELLE WITH ZUCCHINI AND CHERRY TOMATOES SAUCE
Total preparation time: 1 hour Cooking time: 10 minutes Servings: 5-6
Fresh tagliatelle pasta (see recipe for fresh pasta below)
5-6 medium zucchini, washed and diced
500 g (18 oz) cherry tomatoes or datterini tomatoes, washed and cut in half
90 ml (6 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons capers, preserved in salt and washed under running cold water
Fresh basil leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Seasoned ricotta or grated Parmesan cheese to serve
1. Prepare the fresh tagliatelle.
2. Prepare the sauce. In a nonstick large pan heat the olive oil over medium-low heat, add the garlic and sautè until lightly browned but not burnt. Remove the garlic. Turn down to low heat and add the zucchini.
3. Cook over medium-high heat for about 7-8 minutes turning a few times. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. Add salt, pepper and some basil leaves to taste. Remove from the heat.
4. While the sauce is cooking, bring to boil plenty of salty water. Add the tagliatelle and cook for 4-5 minutes until al dente.
5. Drain the pasta, reserving 60 ml (¼ cup) of cooking water, and add to the sauce. Add the cooking water and toss gently. Serve immediately with grated ricotta or Parmesan cheese.
FRESH EGG PASTA – PASTA FRESCA ALL’UOVO
Preparation time: 50 minutes Servings: 4-5
400 g (14 oz, about 3 cups) Italian Grade 00 flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
4 medium eggs, at room temperature
1. Place the flour in a volcano-shaped pile on a work surface (wood is the traditional material) making sure that the “crater” provides a large enough well in the center to receive the eggs. Wash the eggs under running water and crack into the well. Beat the eggs with a fork for 1-2 minutes, then gradually blend the flour into the eggs, starting from the inner wall of the well and continuing until all the flour and the eggs are completely combined. You have to add flour until the dough is no longer sticky (you may have to use extra flour depending on the absorption characteristics of the flour and on the temperature of the room). Knead the dough for about 15 minutes to form a smooth and elastic ball. This procedure helps develop the gluten in the flour, so your pasta will be springy and al dente when it is cooked.
2. Place the dough in a clean cotton dish towel to rest for about 20 minutes at room temperature. Divide your pasta in 4 equal parts and roll out one part at a time (keeping the rest in the dish towel until ready to work).
3. ROLLING OUT BY HAND. To roll out your pasta you need a wooden pin – mattarello. Dust each piece lightly with flour and roll out to the desired thickness; you should be able to see your hand through it. Work quickly because the pasta dries much quicker than you might think. Cut the pasta into rectangular sheets (20×10 cm; 8×4 in) and let them rest for about 10 minutes on a cotton dish towel.
4. ROLLING OUT BY MACHINE. A hand-cranked pasta machine is the best to use. Kids especially love this part. Start out using the widest setting. Run the pasta through for about 6-7 times until the dough is smooth. If the sheet tears dust it with flour. Continue to run each sheet through the machine, reducing the thickness a notch at a time, until you reach the desired thickness (notch 5 -6 for tagliatelle out of 9, I personally prefer 5, about 1 mm), instead for lasagna you can see your hand through it. At this point follow the same procedure as for rolling out by hand.
Note: If you do not cook the pasta right away, let it dry on the wooden surface lightly dusted for about 12 hours in a dry place, then wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. You can freeze up to 2 weeks. – Paola