Cooking with Gwyneth

After being inspired by one of the latest stupid reality shows, Extreme Couponing, I started to actually read the supermarket adds in my Sunday paper looking for deals. My eye went straight to a Ralphs ad: Barilla pasta on sale for 10 for $10. So I bought 20! With a pantry full of 20 pounds of pasta, I felt had to start chipping away at it.

I recently bought Renaissance Woman Gwyneth Paltrow’s <a href="My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness"" ” target=”_blank”>new cookbook, and it is actually pretty good. The dishes are relatively healthy and easy to prepare. I figured her recipes would be the food she really eats, helping her to maintain her figure. Then in an interview I read that she <a href="The Tracy Anderson Method Mat Workout DVD"" ” target=”_blank”>worksout an hour and a half 5 days a week, so she can maintain her healthy appetite. Now I see how she does it. I have the healthy appetite part, but I workout 3 times a week, sometimes 2, and sometimes I just think about going to the gym…

This zucchini pasta was the first dish I made out of the book. It is very easy and wonderful. You get the sauce ready by mixing parmesan and some olive oil in a bowl, and toss the zucchini slices in another bowl with flour and fry them. The flour creates a thin crust on the zucchini that gets nice and golden during cooking. While the pasta is cooking, take some pasta water and mix it with the cheese and oil mixture. When the pasta is ready, toss it with the cheese and zucchini, add some basil and plate. Now, Gwyneth does not eat pork, but I do. So I topped the pasta with some ribbons of prosciutto.

I have seen many pasta recipes that call for the addition of the pasta water to help thin out and lengthen the sauce. What I don’t understand is how to make this addition without the hot pasta melting the cheese, and lots of times the cheese sticking to the bowl (notice the glob of cheese on the tongs, below).

I have tried Cacio e Pepe this way, and I end up with clean pasta and a bowl with a cheese and pepper lining. Maybe the answer is to let the pasta cool slightly before tossing? Try it at home, see how it goes and let me know how it turns out.

Fried Zucchini Spaghetti
From My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow

3/4 lbs. spaghetti
3 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 Tab. AP flour
1/4c. plus 2 Tab. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. pasta water
black pepper
handful of basil leaves, roughly torn

Boil the spaghetti in salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, toss the zucchini in the flour. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in large frying pan over high heat. Cook zucchini in a single layer on both sides until nicely golden. Do this in batches, keep cooked zucchini on a plate and sprinkle with coarse salt. Whisk cheese with 2 Tab. olive oil in large mixing bowl. Whisk in 1/4c. pasta water. Drain spaghetti and toss in bowl with cheese mixture, fold in 2/3 of zucchini and all the basil. To serve, portion the pasta among 4 bowls, top with rest of zucchini.

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This entry was posted in Cooking, Dinner, Italian, Look n' Cook. Bookmark the permalink.

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