I really love the texture and pure taste of the zucchini ribbons when they’re gently cooked with just butter. Inspired by Laura Calder’s Zucchini Fondue from her book French Food at Home, I decided to mix it with some pasta and here’s what I came up with.
The poached egg-in-the-microwave technique I borrowed from a recent issue of Bon Appetit. It really works! But practice first. Zuc’s are on sale this week, and pasta’s cheap pretty much everywhere. I usually buy Barilla. —mrslarkin
large zucchini (on the slim side), sliced long-ways into ribbons
1 or 2
sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and set aside
In a medium saucepan, bring pasta water to rolling boil. Add salt. Add linguine and cook to al dente.
While pasta is cooking, heat butter in a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Add zucchini ribbons, toss to coat with the melted butter, and cook until zucchini softens. I like mine pretty soft, but cook it to your liking. Season with salt, pepper and some fresh thyme. Turn off heat, but leave in pan.
While zucchini is cooking, fill a 1-cup glass measuring cup with a half-cup of water. Gently crack egg into the water. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for about a minute, or a little more, depending on your microwave’s wattage. (mine takes about 1 min. 15 sec.)
In a perfect world, everything will be done at the right moment. Just do your best – it’ll still be yummy. I suggest practicing the microwave egg technique before making the pasta. Alternatively, go old school and poach your egg in a small saucepan of simmering salted water with a dash of white vinegar for a minute or so, just until the white is set and yolk is still soft.
Strain the linguine, add it to the zucchini pan and give it a good couple of tosses. Plate the pasta, top with some freshly grated Parmigiano and the poached egg. Another grinding of pepper, maybe a pinch of salt, and then have at it.