riffing off of ruhlman

August 5th, 2010 · 27 Comments

the joke goes something like this: when it’s summer in nashville you need to lock your car doors when you go anywhere otherwise when you come back there will be a bushel of zucchini on your passenger seat.

and THEN what would you do? because sometimes zucchinis and yellow squash can be a little perplexing, if only due to the lack of excitement they tend to cause.

i was reading ruhlman’s last post and decided that a version of his sauteed zucchini recipe would be a perfect jumping off point for a pasta dinner with friends. it’s hot as hell out and i’m eating very lightly right now – paying for some recent past indulgences. i knew i owed you all a pasta dish and although there’s really no recipe here, i urge you to do what i did with ruhlman’s post and just get inspired and use up a few zucchini and squash from your csa haul or garden or local farmers market.

oh, so there’s that and i need to tell you about a gadget… because i use them on occasion and this one is kind of fun, as gadgets go…

enter: the saladacco spiral slicer

photo from the sur la table web site…

i’ve never hidden the fact that my knife skills are pretty lame if not dangerous. i get by, barely, so i tend to rely heavily on my mandoline, food processor slicer attachment and the kindness of others. and on occasion, this nifty little device which does two things. it makes long curly ribbons out of firm vegetables and it also makes an angel hair like strand. fun with vegetables. good times.

2 minced shallots and about 6 minced garlic cloves got sweated in some olive oil

and then added to that was a bit of salt and red pepper flakes.

next in went the zucchini, yellow squash and carrots and a good amount of fresh thyme. after about 3 minutes i added some butter and hit it with a good squeeze of lemon juice. it was tossed with some spaghettini and you can tell by the color that i used one of those multi grain omega 3 high protein pastas – but in a perfect world where i didn’t have to think about fiber and protein – OR if you were coming to dinner, i would have just used white pasta because it’s just better.

the dish was finished with some lightly toasted mediterranean pine nuts which are both hard to find and expensive. since, you’ve come to expect that from me, i didn’t want to let you down.

oh and tomatoes. it is august after all…

Tags: pasta · vegetables

27 responses so far ↓

  • 1 kitchen geek // Aug 5, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Glad to see you’re back to feeding our eyes on the interwebs!

    I’m heading to the farm tomorrow. There are 2lb. Mortgage Lifters and Purple Cherokees. I will tomato my way through the weekend (oh, and work on recipes with the MotherGeek for the Roadkill Cookoff in September).

  • 2 Lesley // Aug 5, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Looks DELICIOUS. And that is a gadget I need. My knife skills are nonexistent. As in, it’s amazing my hands are all still complete and intact (luckily, that one tendon healed).

  • 3 tommynoodles // Aug 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Omega what?

  • 4 Melissa // Aug 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Beautiful. I’d eat that even if it wasn’t healthy, though I confess I am in that category… i.e., one of those who does not, even a little bit, get excited about squash and zucchini.

  • 5 Louise // Aug 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Perfect easy dinner for all of us this weekend. Might even invite some freinds over. See? Pasta. It’s what we love about you. And yes, I like the white stuff too!

  • 6 Heather // Aug 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    I love that saying about locking your car door.

    I’ve been turning my 8-ball zukes into pickles. And adding them to burritos. And feeding them to the baby. And next I will be baking zucchini bread.

  • 7 ethel // Aug 5, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Thank goodness you are back with great photo’s and of course a terrific dish that ‘s not hard to do. It looks beautiful too.

  • 8 claudia // Aug 5, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    thanks mom/ethel!

  • 9 michelle@TNS // Aug 6, 2010 at 10:30 am

    i need that gadget. i also need somewhere to keep it, but i need it. enough of this tedious slicing with knives. i decree that all vegetables should be consumed in ribbon form.

    (great pix, btw)

  • 10 charlie from you know where // Aug 7, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Keep on cooking and I’ll keep reading and dreaming

  • 11 Culinary Crumbs // Aug 7, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Wish my zucchini was growing in my garden bc this sounds delish! Sadly, the Texas heat is scorching all my plants into nothing but shriveled remains. :-( Guess I will have to make a trip to the farmers market for some super fresh squash. Shaved zucchini just sounds too fun to pass up!

  • 12 Emily Walters // Aug 8, 2010 at 6:29 am

    A beautiful and inspiring dish, just wonderful and what summer eating is all about. I guess this dish has gone viral because I made my own version yesterday.

  • 13 emily Walters // Aug 8, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Plus, I just like to copy Claudia. Next I am growing my hair out.

  • 14 Thom // Aug 8, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Got my CSA haul just yesterday. Google brought me to you. Nice blog. This is on the upcoming menu. And zucchini bread. And ratatouille. And then I will google more zucchini.

  • 15 cookiecrumb // Aug 8, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Wow, that’s a really pretty meal. Cute-pretty. No offense.

  • 16 Nancy Jamar // Aug 8, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I have that gadget! I love that gadget! I got mine when I was doing alot of macro cooking and carrot/daikon was on the menu. I still whip it out a few times a week. Love the fine julienne setting, too. Love your recipe! A new spin on my old gadget!

  • 17 nancy at good food matters // Aug 9, 2010 at 6:08 am

    Yes, in this town, zucchinis abound. (yellow squash,too!) We’re always looking for another way to work with them. Love the gadget, and I had to laugh, agreeing with Ruhlman’s comment about the green pepper: ” a truly unfortunate vegetable”

  • 18 Samantha // Aug 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Now see, I love all squash and zucchini. What’s not to like? And yes, cool gadget. And beautiful pasta dish. I might add some cheese like Ruhlman suggested. Maybe olives. Or anchovies. Capers?


  • 19 Peter // Aug 10, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    I think you should be deeply offended by Cookie’s comment. Just saying.

    I used my saladacco to spin zucchini noodles that I added to pad thai the other day. Just saying.

  • 20 lavendergreener // Aug 11, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    good, i like

  • 21 Rachel (S[d]OC) // Aug 12, 2010 at 8:52 am

    I think I want that gadget. I’m glad I’m not the only blogger with less-than-perfect knife skills.

    Nice summer dish. Zucchini are probably the only squash I can tolerate the taste of, but they have to be cooked to my liking. This would fit the bill.

  • 22 cheap sport // Aug 16, 2010 at 4:25 am

    Thank you so much, Great information… You keep writing and I’ll keep reading.

  • 23 Lordis // Aug 18, 2010 at 4:17 am

    What beautiful colors! I could dive into that bowl right about now and it’s only 6am!

    I guess that could work with any vegetables right? But it’s all about the seasonal!

  • 24 Defunk // Sep 10, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Wow, that looks awesome. I love everything that’s in that! I pretty much love anything with tomatoes!

  • 25 Victoria // Oct 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I just came across this post. I planted two – only TWO – zucchini plants this summer, and those two plants alone reaped more zucchini than I could imagine!

    The best use I found for them was a recipe in Marcella’s Italian Kitchen for Zucchini Parmesan. The recipe is completely different from the recipe I use for eggplant parmigiana and is definitely worth looking into.

    Instead of breading the zucchini, it is cut the long way, fried in light vegetable oil, and then layered with thin slices of moz, a lovely tomato sauce with onion, parsely, and olive oil, and – this is the real ticket – a slurry of eggs beaten with parmesan cheese, which makes a kind of custardy coating. It is delicious.

  • 26 molly // Nov 1, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Not sure which made me laugh louder, the locked doors bit or the knife skills.

    I, for one, have not yet had enough zucchini, and this might just be the way to use the last treasured two.

    Perhaps I need to spend the next August in Nashville…

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    my plants into nothing but shriveled remains. Guess I will have to make a trip to the farmers market for some super fresh squash. Shaved zucch

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