Stanley Tucci's Zucchini Pasta
Plus: Angry Garlic People, Ottolenghi's Fig Cake, and Mustard Brown Sugar Salmon.
Hey Thursday friends,
Well it finally happened. After struggling to connect on TikTok (I’m an old fart!), this video of me recreating the zucchini pasta that Stanley Tucci said was one of the best things he’s ever eaten in his life has almost a million views! Check it out here:
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Why is this such a hit?
I think it’s because the end result looks so luscious and rich and you make it with one of the most boring vegetables out there (sorry, zucchini, but it’s true).
The nice thing about this recipe is that it’s not really a recipe, it’s a technique.
Slice a few small zucchinis or two large ones on a mandoline into thin rounds and then fry those rounds in a neutral oil — do it in batches — until golden brown. (A lot of controversy in the comments about why I didn’t use olive oil; the recipe on CNN.com says the chef uses sunflower oil, I used grapeseed oil. I think it’s because the neutrality of the oil allows you to taste the zucchini.)
Once you fry all the slices, you’re supposed to refrigerate them overnight or for two hours to soften. I actually stuck them in the freezer to cool down for 20 minutes or so (you don’t see that in the video) and then returned them to the pan which I wiped out b/c it was greasy with some burnt bits. Heat that back up, drop your spaghetti in salted water (a lot of commenters said I didn’t season anything; that water was so salty!), and ladle two ladlefuls in with the zucchini. That’s what makes the sauce.
Then to finish, simply remove the spaghetti with tongs two minutes shy of being done into the pan with the zucchini sauce, crank up the heat, and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed. Then off the heat, work in a pat of butter, two handfuls of Parmesan cheese, and some freshly ground black pepper. Serve right away and garnish with basil. It’s so good.
What cracked me up was how many angry commenters said that this needed garlic, no one more forcefully than ridiculousredhead…
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