Spaghetti with Pan-Fried Zucchini
Shishito Pepper Pesto
Inspired by Bobby Flay’s Amalfi Restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip
Bobby Flay’s stellar new restaurant at Caesars Palace is where he brings flavors of the Amalfi Coast to the Las Vegas Strip.
We had an absolutely delightful meal there recently…and would have tried even more fabulous dishes if we had room. Our server informed us that the Spaghetti Zucchine is one of the most popular pastas at the restaurant. The Chef wrote on Instagram that it has become the most requested pasta dish at his house.
Unable to fit in another pasta that night (we had the Caramelle and Pasta Rags, both excellent), I just had to try the Spaghetti Zucchine at home.
Two months ago my garden was bursting with arugula and borage, now the epazote has gone wild. This unique sawtooth herb with the curious aroma produces tons of seeds, so it is everywhere. Not to worry, in another month, it too will fade and be replaced by something else. I plant everything I like to cook with, and see where it goes…
In Mexican cooking, squash blossoms (flor de calabaza) are often paired with epazote. It is a heavenly match where the mild slightly-sweet nectar taste of the flowers is complimented by the petroleum-like aroma and the complex flavors of the herb.
In Oaxaca, cheese quesadillas are often flavored with epazote, so it naturally pairs well with the cheese on these flatbreads.
Green Velvet Soup Spinach, Zucchini, Potato with Herbs & Spices Toasted Pine Nuts, Crema, Chili Oil Garnish
It’s a soup with a luxurious deep green color and velvety texture. Spinach, zucchini, and potatoes are the base for this satisfying and healthful potage. A zippy garnish makes it anything but boring.
Fresh cilantro and toasted dried spices give this green soup a wonderful depth of flavor. Dried cumin seed, coriander seed, and fennel seed are added at the beginning of the cooking process to unlock their intense flavors. Fresh cilantro is added at the end of the process to preserve its essence and verdant aromas.
Where the chili oil adds a fiery touch, the Mexican crema add a cool richness. Unlike a “cream” soup, there is less than a tablespoon of cream per serving. Pine nuts add texture and that toasty note, which is mirrored in the toasted spices.
Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier in 2014? Think you have to give up pasta and creamy sauces?
Here’s a technique that produces a super-satisfying pasta dish that’s lower in calories and saturated fats, higher in fiber, and spiked with vegetables. Pureed cauliflower is the base for a thick smooth sauce where roasted garlic adds rich mellow flavor. Pair whole-wheat pasta with an equal amount of your favorite vegetables, then toss with Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Gravy. Interested in gluten-free or low-carb? Simply leave out the pasta altogether, and try this luxurious cauliflower gravy ladled over veggies.
Say good-bye artery-clogging Fettuccine Alfredo and calorie-laden Macaroni & Cheese, and say hello to their svelte cousin…
healthy & light: zucchini “pappardelle” with avocado “cream”
In preparation for my kitchen remodel next month, I was speaking with one of the designers at the kitchen showroom …I wanted to show her the remodel of my bar area from last summer so I pulled up my blog post titled “Construction Dinner.” In addition to photos of my bar remodel, the post also contains a recipe for Orecchiette with Warm Avocado Cream. While interested in the bar, she was also intrigued by the avocado cream. She loved avocado but was trying to keep carbs to a minimum. So I suggested to try it with zucchini instead of pasta. If I was suggesting she try my recipe, I thought that I had better test it myself first!
Stephanie – definitely try it with the zucchini!
zucchini “pappardelle” with avocado “cream” recipe