Zucchini Radiatore (Vegetarian Pasta Recipe)
I love the vegetables my husband has been harvesting this season. We've had lovely zucchini so far. I've already used the zucchini flowers and stuffed them with risotto, and today I sautéed the zucchini with radiatore pasta. Lulu also pulled plenty of red Creole onions from the ground, so I used them to flavor the vegetarian pasta dish.
If you're able to plant your own vegetables, you should try zucchini. The young ones are sweet and more tender. They're fairly easy to plant, and if you take good care of them, they can be prolific.
You could pair any other pasta with the veggies in this dish, but I think the lace-shaped pasta looks very fancy. To make the dish a little healthier than my usual pasta dishes, I added very little cheese (I used Asiago for its strong flavor) and instead used enoki mushrooms, which resemble strings of cheese. It’s a great way to trick the kids, both little and big, into eating healthy!
Yields: 6 servings1 (12-ounce) package radiatore pasta
1 (7-ounce) package enoki mushrooms, trimmed, separated and cut into thirds
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 red Creole onions, with their stalks
2 sprigs marjoram
1-½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
3 tablespoons Asiago cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons curly parsley, chopped
Prepping the Creole onions:
Trim both ends. Chop the onions as well as about 4 tablespoons of the stalks. Discard the rest of the stalks.
Prepping the zucchini:
Trim the ends of the zucchini. Cut them into small slices.
In a deep large pan, heat 2 tablespoon olive oil and sauté the onions until golden. Add the sprigs of marjoram and the sliced zucchini. Stir until light translucent. Make sure the zucchini are cooked on both sides. Do not over-cook, as they will finish cooking with the pasta. You still want the zucchini slices to hold their shape. Transfer the zucchini mixture to a plate. Set aside.
For the radiatore pasta:
Bring about 5 quarts of water to a boil. Add the radiatore pasta, bring back to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle boil. That way the pasta is cooked all the way through evenly. Cook the pasta for about 12 minutes total. Salt the water half-way through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the pasta and it will be more tender) and keep stirring every now and then so the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. It may take longer than the cooking time that's written on the box. When the pasta is cooked (cooked inside and out but still in shape and firm), reserve about ½ cup of pasta water and drain the pasta (do NOT rinse). Transfer to a large flat platter. You can also skip this step and transfer the pasta directly to the sauté pan.
In the same pan, heat the rest of the oil. Add the chopped onion stalks and radiatore pasta. Stir until well incorporated. Add about ¼ cup of pasta water. Toss the pasta for about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. If the pasta starts sticking to the bottom, add more pasta water. Add the sautéed onions and zucchini and the enoki mushrooms. Toss well for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add parsley. Adjust seasoning. Gently stir the radiatore pasta. Remove and discard the marjoram. Sprinkle with Asiago cheese, cover and let stand until you're ready to serve.
Enoki are very thin, long white mushrooms that are widely used in Asian cuisine. I also use them for making Vietnamese crêpes, banh xeo.
For a vegan and healthier version, omit the cheese and add more enoki mushrooms.
Published By: on June 23, 2010.
Red Creole onions.