Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Learning About Pasta

visiting the Maison Veuve Clicquot
 I never tend to make much effort with pasta - it is often a back-up staple when I'm too lazy to make something more elaborate (with some exceptions, to be sure). But when my college friend and her sister, who has studied to be a chef in Italy came to stay with me in France, I jumped at the chance to learn more about pasta. While visiting friends in the countryside, Hayley made a gorgeous pasta sauce, and it revitalized the potential for complex and delicious dishes! Here's my most recent attempt for a friend visiting, in which I try to apply some tips I gleaned from watching an expert:

Zucchini-Borsin Pasta

Serves 3-4.

3/4 pound pasta of your choice (look for dry pasta that was made in bronze and not steel prepared... though I couldn't find this in my Paris mini supermarket)
3-4 courgettes/zucchini
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp fleur de sel
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tbl olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tsp oregano
1 small onion, diced
1 cup white wine
1 can diced tomatoes (unless tomatoes are in high season)
1/2 container of boursin spreadable cheese
water for boiling pasta
1/2 cup grated parmeasan

1. Cut zucchini into medium-sized chunks while heating vegetable oil in a saucepan.
2. Mix salt and flour and lightly cover zucchini pieces.
3. Begin boiling water for pasta
4. In a frying pan, heat olive oil, then add garlic and oregano until it begins to sizzle lightly.
5. Once vegetable oil is hot, fry the pieces of zucchini in small groups until lightly browned. Drain over paper towel. Cooking these separately and then adding them to the sauce allows them to hold their own flavor more fully.
6. Once water is boiling, add a bit of salt and the pasta to it. Cook for suggested time (c. 7-8 minutes)
7. Meanwhile, add onion to frying pan with olive oil and garlic and oregano, and saute, adding the white wine in small segments and letting it evaporate before adding more.
8. Once the pasta is ready, drain it but leave a few cups of pasta water to add back into the sauce.
9. Add the zucchini pieces and tomatoe pieces to the frying pan, followed by the pasta, 1/2 cup to one cup of the pasta water, and stir together.
10. Add the boursin into the mix, stirring until melted.
11. Serve with parmeasan cheese, red wine, and bread.


  1. This looks so good, Emily! I had a similar dish on my blog but I used goat cheese. I'll have to try this :)

  2. Yay! So glad to have a new foodie buddy. And looking at your blog makes me realize how much I need to work on my photography!!!