Last Saturday, we went to the farmer's market and several of the vendors had started to bring in varieties of summer squash. One, in particular, had an interesting zucchini variety I hadn't tried: 8-ball Zucchini. They're cute, shaped like their namesake, and for the first fresh zucchini of the season, looked quite delicious.
But how best to use them, I wondered. A bit of research using foodieview led me to a recipe on RecipeZaar for "zucchini ribbons" that're quickly cooked in some boiling water from the kettle. A good start, but not enough for a meal for two. With some chicken and noodles, however, it shines.
For a fast, easy and just about foolproof way to make a great sidedish out of zucchini, pouring some boiling water over thin strips of zucchini for a minute, draining it and then tossing it with butter, cheese and pepper is hard to beat. The zucchini comes out beautifully green, perfectly al dente, and supremely tasty. This is definitely one method that's going in my standard rotation.
Chicken with Pesto Zucchini and Noodles [printable recipe]
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 chicken breast, halved
- 4 ounces fettuccine or other pasta
- 2-3 tbsp pesto (your favorite)
- 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp butter
- olive oil
- Parmesan or other yummy cheese, grated, to taste
- salt to taste
Start a pot of water boiling for the pasta. Slice zucchini into ribbons. (Easiest with a food processor and a grater or slicer disc.)
While it heats, heat a medium pan with some olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with basil and salt, then saute. Remove and slice.
Cook pasta according to package directions. About one minute before al dente, add in zucchini. Stir, then remove after one minute. Drain pasta and zucchini.
Toss and combine well zucchini, pasta, butter, garlic powder, pesto, crushed red chili flakes and a pinch of salt. Divide into bowls, top with sliced chicken and some grated Parmesan. Enjoy.