In need of a quick, easy, healthy recipe that I could make out of ingredients I had on hand, I turned to "Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express" last night. It's such a great cookbook with over 400 "recipe sketches" that are seasonal, simple and fast to put together. I need to pull it out more often based on my results with both the Fish with Thai Pesto I made a few months ago and last night's dish, Zucchini and Garlic Fusilli with Pistachios. This dish is out of the "Fall" section of Bittman's book and since I had a couple of small local zucchinis leftover, pistachios in the freezer and pasta in the pantry, it was the perfect dinner to make.
Bittman says, "Equally delicious is a combination of zucchini and yellow summer squash."
Zucchini and Garlic Fusilli with Pistachios
Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express
Boil salted water for the fusilli and cook it; meanwhile, slice two zucchinis into thin disks. Toast a handful of pistachios in a dry pan until just fragrant and turning golden; set aside. Cook some minced garlic in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil until fragrant, add the zucchini slices and two tablespoons of water, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft. Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking water. Toss the zucchini and garlic mixture with the pasta, adding more olive oil and water if needed; add the toasted nuts and serve with grated Parmesan cheese and plenty of freshly ground pepper.
Notes/Results: Really good! The combination of flavor and texture in this one is delicious. I kept the zucchini slightly crisp, which is the way I like it, and it takes on a really nice garlicky flavor. The fusilli I had on hand was a brown rice pasta, making my version of the dish gluten-free. The toasty roasted pistachios and heaping tablespoon of grated Parmesan on top add nice texture and additional flavor. I will make this one again.
It is a dish good enough to send over to Presto Pasta Nights which is being hosted this week by its founder, the wonderful Ruth at Once Upon a Feast. Ruth will be doing the round-up with lots of creative and delicious pasta dishes at her site on Friday so go by and take a look.