I am kicking off a series where I cook from My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness by Gwyneth Paltrow (the book I recently reviewed) once a week and invite you all to join in. If you don’t have a copy of the book yet you can buy it here on Amazon, then come in and join the fun. Today I am starting with this easy recipe for Fried Zucchini Spaghetti. I read about it in Food & Wine last month and was excited to find it in the cookbook, too. To be completely honest, the whole reason I am starting with this recipe is because I had leftover zucchini in my refrigerator and wanted to use it up. I also had a big bag of whole wheat spaghetti so, when I read this recipe, I realized I had pretty much all that I needed.
Whipping this up in under half and hour was as easy as the recipe stated. The only mistake I made was that I cut the zucchini into long strips instead of rounds. The recipe does not specify which way to slice the zucchini so I made the strips thinking they would pair nicely with the long noodles. They fried up nicely but broke apart a little toward the end of the cooking. I think rounds would have been much easier to fry. I made a note of this on the recipe page for future reference. Overall the dish was tasty, healthy and delish. My daughter ate hers, skipping most of the zucchini, while we devoured our bowls. I only ended up using about three-quarters of the amount of sauce called for, it was very thick and creamy. I think it was the right amount for entire box of spaghetti. Will I be making this again this summer? Yes! What will I do different? Slice the zucchini into rounds and remember to add lots of pepper at the end.
Fried Zucchini Spaghetti
adapted from My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow
1 box (1 pound) spaghetti
3 zucchini, sliced into 1/4″ thick rounds
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons high quality extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pasta water
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
1. Cook the spaghetti in heavily salted water until just al dente. While it is cooking, toss the zucchini rounds with the flour in a large bowl. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat and add the zucchini in batches so that they fit in one single layer. Cook the zucchini, stirring and flipping occasionally, until the zucchini is browned and crispy. Remove the zucchini to a large plate and sprinkle with a large pinch of kosher salt.
2. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the Parmesan and remaining olive oil. Then add 1/4 cup of the pasta water to thin it out into a smooth, creamy sauce. Drain the spaghetti and toss it with the sauce, fried zucchini and basil. Top it with some extra cracked pepper and serve.