It’s the end of July and the gardens are overflowing. There is a dark side to this, however….think back to the 2 or 3 tiny zucchini plants you popped in the garden way back in April or May. If I know my cucurbits, those 2 unassuming plants are now producing zucchini at an alarming rate. What’s worse is if you don’t pick them off the vine, they will grow to an enormous size and will quickly become inedible.
So, for all of you out there who have an “bounty” of zucchini in your gardens and are at a loss as to how to use them up, here is a simple but delicious pasta to try:
Spaghetti with Chicken, Sauteed Zucchini and Goat Cheese
These measurements are for a family of 4, so feel free to adjust up or down.
- 2 skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper
- a couple of zucchini, washed and cut into spears about an inch and a half long
- glug of olive oil
- a couple of cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1/2 c. white wine
- a few ounces of fresh goatcheese TIP: put this in the freezer when you get home, it will make it easier to crumble.
- enough spaghetti to feed your family (these particular measurements are for 4 people
- 1 tsp fresh thyme (if not fresh, just use about half of dried)
1) Fire up the BBQ on high heat and spray it with some non-stick. Throw your chicken breasts on, about 6-7 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the breasts.
2) Put a large pot of salted water on the stove and let it heat up for your pasta. Get your pasta in the pot and let it gently boil until fork tender.
3) Heat up your olive oil in a saute pan. When it is hot, add your zucchini and garlic. Now, you will need to resist the urge to stir your zucchini around obsessively. The idea is to let the zucchini turn that beautiful golden-brown colour. This will not happen if you are constantly stirring. If you absolutely can’t resist, just give the pan a little jiggle to make sure the spears aren’t sticking. When you see the desired golden hue, then give them a flip to do the other side. All in all, this process usually takes at least 10-12 minutes.
4) While you are waiting patiently to flip your zucchini, fetch your chicken from the grill. Cut it on the bias into nice slices and set aside.
5) Use a slotted spoon to remove the zucchini from the pan. Add the white wine and deglaze (read: scrape up all of those lovely golden zucchini bits) and dial the heat up a bit until your sauce is starting to bubble gently.
6) Your pasta should be ready. Drain and reserve a bit of the cooking water (no more than 1/4 c.) and and it and your thyme to your sauce. Give it a good whisk and simmer for about 5 minutes.
7) Toss your pasta in your sauce and add the chicken and zucchini. Sprinkle liberally with your crumbled up goat cheese and serve immediately.
Two zucchini down and fourty-eight to go……………….