Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat CheeseFlavourful and quick pasta recipes always come in handy. To lighten up the calorie content of this pasta dish I have replaced part of the carbs with the zucchini. In the end I was quite surprised about how filling this dish was. Continue reading

In the beginning I wanted to make the zucchini spaghetti using my knife (since I don’t have a spiralizer) but then I found here a simple alternative using a grater that I thought worked well and was also faster. It was my first time making zucchini spaghetti and since I really liked them I now have a new item on my to buy list: the spiralizer. This quick fresh and light recipe turned out to be a tasty dish and surely one of these days this is a recipe I shall serve again… especially since the wedding is less than a month away and I want to keep my food on the light side.

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

 

 

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10-12 min

Cook time: 8-10 min

 

Ingredients

2-3 zucchini

8 sun dried tomato filets

240 g spaghetti

120 g hard goat cheese

80 g crème fraiche

Zest of 1 organic lemon

4 tbsp. dry roasted pine nuts

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Using either a spiralizer or a large holed grater or even a knife, make the zucchini noodles. As I only have a grater I used it by grating the zucchini through their whole length. The other option is to thinly slice the zucchini by their length and them cut each slice into spaghetti like shapes.

Roughly chop the sun dried tomato filets and grate the hard goat cheese.

Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water according to package instructions.

Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and add the zucchini and the sun dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 min stirring once or twice. Add the crème fraiche, hard goat cheese and lemon zest. Lower the fire and cook until the sauce is dense but still a little runny.

Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce along with the pine nuts. Remove from fire, mix all together, correct taste if needed and serve.

Friar’s Spaghetti

Friar's Spaghetti When I read about recipes I am always interested in knowing where the name or history of such or such recipe comes from. Continue reading

The names and the ingredients that make up the traditional dishes of my canton Ticino, many times come from two strands of our past society: the first are the peasants and second are the friars/monks.

As I read today’s recipe I began wandering through this book and found 6 recipes that contain the word peasant or shepherd (Peasant’s Soup, Peasant’s Polenta, Peasant’s Rabbit…) and almost as many containing the word friar/monk (Friar’s Spaghetti, Friar’s Pie or the liquor called Nocino which is allegedly attributed to the monks’ savoir faire, this drink is also very common in Northern Italy). These two categories of our past society reflect a humble lifestyle, in fact the recipes are usually simple and the ingredients used are the most common ones (pasta, polenta, tomatoes, spinach, cheese, herbs, garlic…)

I’m a true history fan and when it comes to my places of origin (canton Ticino and canton Vaud) I can’t seem to get enough. That said I am enthusiastic to say that I’m gently going back to writing the novel I began a couple of years ago. The story I have in mind takes in consideration the historical facts about Ticino and my Maggia Valley so as I get a grip on new curiosities I want to share them with you. Today as we’re on the religious subject, I remember reading that during the witch burning times, which were regulated and controlled by the catholic Church, in Ticino people were such fanatics about burning people (mostly women) at the stake that even the authorities in Milan at a certain point in time recommended to calm down the fires. And if I remember well the name of the last woman sentenced to be burned at the stake in Ticino was Barbara Fontana in about 1704.

Today’s recipe is the Friar’s Spaghetti, in fact the ingredients used for the pasta are incredibly simple but nonetheless delicious: tomatoes, chillies, breadcrumbs, garlic and olive oil. My twist to this recipe is that instead of using canned tomatoes I used fresh cherry tomatoes and I added the chives, besides these the procedure is basically the same.

Friar's Spaghetti Friar's Spaghetti Friar's Spaghetti

 

Friar’s Spaghetti

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 13-15 min

 

Ingredients

400 g spaghetti (I used wholemeal ones)

400 g cherry tomatoes

2 heaped tbsp. breadcrumbs

2 garlic cloves

¼ tsp. dried chillies (if you like it more spicy just increase the amount)

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp. chopped chives

 

Recipe

 

Halve the cherry tomatoes and finely chop the garlic.

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a pan and add the breadcrumbs, garlic and chillies. Cook for 3-4 minutes on a low-medium fire, until the bread becomes crisp. Add a couple tbsp.. olive oil and the cherry tomatoes and leave them to cook until they have coloured and are starting to break down. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.

Cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions. Once you have removed the water, add them to the sauce. Mix well and sprinkle with the chopped chives before serving.

 

Radish Walnut and Goat Cheese Spaghetti

Radish Walnut and Goat Cheese SpaghettiRadishes always remind me of my childhood; I had to raise my arms to reach the top of the table to grab something. During summer days there would be radishes and salt on the dinner table during the aperitif time; my parents would have a beer, I would have fennel tea. I thought about these moments when I was waxing the wooden furniture on the terrace. It’s almost as if when I clean you have to concentrate on the object and this makes my memories come to life.
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Besides my personal history, looking at the bigger picture, it is said that humans probably began eating radishes during the Neolithic era, that was about in 11’000 years ago. This veggie is said to come from the far east; an ancient Chinese writing tell of a recipe of raw carp macerated with radishes, ginger and other herbs. In Europe, it’s the Romans who took care of spreading the culture of this root.
(source: http://www.lesjardinslaurentiens.com/radis_histoire.html )


Radish Walnut and Goat Cheese Spaghetti


Recipe for 2

Time: 15-20 min


Ingredients:

160-180 g spaghetti

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp breadcrumbs

Zest of a ½ small lemon

10 roughly chopped walnut kernels

2 tbsp chopped parsley

50g fresh goat cheese


Recipe:

Slice radishes, about 3 mm thick. Chop the parsley.

Boil water in a pot add salt and the spaghetti; cook them al dente.

Rub the breadcrumbs and the lemon zests together, add salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a pan and add the crumb mix and walnuts to brown for a couple of minutes.

Remove the pasta from the water but save about 2-3 tbsp of the cooking juice. Add the spaghetti to the breadcrumbs and mix with the pasta. Add the saved pasta juice and the radishes and mix again.

Plate and sprinkle over the parsley with some crumbled goat cheese.