I quite often talk about produce gluts around here, but one that has always failed me, to my shame, is a glut of zucchini! I know what you’re thinking – how can I consider myself any sort of kitchen gardener, consider myself even the vaguest sort of grow-your-own advocate if I can’t even manage a zucchini glut? 😦 I mean there are jokes about this, while I’ve been counting my haul for the entire season in single digits!
Well this year, finally, I managed, if not a glut, then at least an elegant sufficiency 🙂 Enough to cook a number of zucchini based meals, throughout the season, but not so many I was chasing down the neighbours trying to give them giant marrows! This dish was one I made with a reasonably large zucchini, large enough that slicing it reasonably small seemed like a good idea in case it was a little woody, though in fact it was beautifully tender.
The rest of the dish is based on the classic cured pork product, plus allium (onion family), plus vegetable, plus cheese, formula you also see in dishes like these silver beet, pumpkin, or cabbage pastas. In this case I had the zucchini, plus bacon, spring onions, a few herbs, and some fresh goats cheese. It made for a beautiful, fresh, summery pasta, made all the better by my moment of zucchini triumph! So, confession time – do you struggle with growing zucchini too, or are you the one lurking around the front door with a pile to offload?
Pasta with zucchini, bacon and goat cheese
- 100-200g streaky bacon
- a couple of large zucchini – 500-750g
- 2 spring onions
- small bunch parsley and/or mint (a whole bunch of each is fine if you have it)
- 500g fusilli or similar pasta
- 80-100g soft goat cheese
Slice the bacon into thin strips, and slice the spring onion. Julienne the zucchini with a mandolin, or slice lengthwise, and cut across into strips. Roughly chop the herbs.
Heat a large pan of salted water for the pasta. Cook pasta according to packet directions while frying other ingredients.
Add the bacon to a large cold frying pan, and heat gently to release the fat. Continue to fry gently until most fat is released and it is becoming crisp. Increase heat to medium, add zucchini and spring onions and fry another few minutes.
Drain pasta, reserving some of the water, and stir into the pan along with the herbs, adding some of the water if needed to thoroughly coat the pasta. Crumble in the cheese, and stir through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serves four plus lunch