Ligurian Zucchini & Carrot Pasta Sauce Recipe


1 pound young, glossy zucchini

3 medium carrots

2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoons for tossing with the pasta

1 tablespoon rice bran oil

1 cup onion - chopped

sea salt

1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, or 2 tablespoons dried marjoram

1/8 teaspoon chili pepper - chopped

1 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese - freshly grated


Ligurian Zucchini & Carrot Pasta Sauce Recipe

Marcella is always where I look first for any traditional pasta recipes. Her cookbook covers most of them -- and always has a good story to go with.

Marcella recommends using spaghetti -- but we had great success with other shapes -- another great long pasta. You will need about 1 pound of uncooked pasta for this recipe.

Adapted from Marcella Hazan's Marcella Cucina, (Harper Collins Publishers, 1997).

1. Soak zucchini for about 20 minutes in a basin of cold water. Scrub them under running water using a brush or rough cloth. Cut off both ends, then cut them in half crosswise, then cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard nearly all the white seed-bearing core, keeping the green outer part. Slice the green part lengthwise into very fine strips, about 1/8-inch wide. You can also use a mandolin with a julienne blade or the equivalent attachment in a food processor.

2. Wash the carrots, and prepare them as you did the zucchini, scooping out the paler core and cutting the orange outer part lengthwise into fine strips.

3. To a large skillet on medium heat, put 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon rice bran oil, and chopped onions. Cook the onions, stirring from time to time, until light gold in color.

4. Add carrot strips with some salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-7 minutes. Then add the zucchini with a little more salt and continue to cook. Turn the vegetables over from time to time, until the zucchini are browned.

5. Add marjoram and stir well. Add the chili pepper and stir again. Taste and correct seasoning.

6. Toss sauce in a warm bowl with the cooked pasta (cooked al dente), swirling in 1 tablespoon butter. Add grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and toss thoroughly again. Serve at once.

4 standard servings/6 small servings