My favorite restaurant in Philadelphia is Melograno, a BYOB at 22 and Spruce. Every time I go I can't help but order the pappardelle tartufate, a mix of homemade pasta, wild mushrooms, walnuts, Parmigianno Reggiano and truffle oil. I try to branch out, but ultimately never have the courage — I always give in when the waiter appears.
This recipe only resembles Melograno's signature pasta by way of the shape of its noodles. I purchased a fluted roller at Fante's and fresh, whole pasta sheets from Talluto's on the Italian Market and cut the pasta into 2-inch wide strips. The noodles cook in three minutes and their heat instantly cooks the thin ribbons of zucchini when gently tossed. A recipe for linguini with julienned zucchini in Michael Chiarello's Tra Vigne cookbook inspired this recipe. Tons of basil and parsley make this a perfect summer pasta.
¾ lb. fresh pappardelle* pasta
¾ lb. zucchini
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T. minced garlic
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 T. chopped parsley
½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a big pinch of salt. Meanwhile, using a mandoline or peeler, cut the zucchini lengthwise into long thin ribbons about 1/8-inch thick. Set aside in a large serving bowl
Place the oil and the garlic in a large nonstick sauté pan and turn heat to medium. Heat only until garlic begins to sizzle. Add the pepper flakes and remove from the heat.
Eggplant, purslane and summer squash at the South and Passyunk Farmers' Market:
Add the pasta to the water, and using tongs, gently move pasta around to make sure it is not sticking. Cook until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Drain pasta — do not rinse — and add to the bowl with zucchini. Return the sauté pan with the oil to a burner over medium heat and when the garlic begins to sizzle again, add the parsley and the basil and immediately pour over the pasta and zucchini. Add the Parmigiano, season with kosher salt and pepper to taste and toss gently. Taste, adding some of the reserved cooking water, more olive oil or more salt and pepper if necessary.
*Delicious fresh pasta sheets can be found at Taluto’s on the Italian Market. For a pretty presentation, purchase a fluted roller at Fante’s and cut the fresh pasta sheets into 2-inch-wide strips. Dried pappardelle works well also.
CSA Week 11
1 bunch Chiogga beets grown by Farmdale Organics
2 green peppers grown by Meadow Valley Organics
1 head red leaf lettuce grown by Scarecrow Hill Farm
3 candy onions grown by Back Forty Ranch
1 dozen ears of sweet corn grown by Green Acres Organics
6 tomatoes grown by Green Valley Organics and Countryside Organics
2 lemon cucumbers grown by Riverview Organics
1 bag green beans grown by Countryside Organics
2 green cucumbers grown by Farmdale Organics
2 green zucchini grown by Meadow Valley Organics
4 patty pan squash grown by Green Valley Organics
1 pint grape tomatoes grown by Farmdale Organics