Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Medallion Ligurian Croxetti Pasta with Pesto-Zucchini Sauce

At a local gourmet store, I recently found croxetti pasta (from the Italian company Costa dei Rosmarini), disc-shaped and originating in the Middle Ages in Liguria (northwestern Italy near France) when high-class families would show off their coats of arms, even imprinting them on their pasta. The dimensionality of the imprinting helps the pasta hold light sauces reasonably well. I read that walnut sauces go well with this pasta and, since I have walnut oil on hand, I should explore that.

I made a simple saute over medium heat of one medium zucchini, finely chopped (1/4"), and a medium shallot, similarly chopped. When the zucchini was soft, in maybe 10 minutes, I took it off the heat and mixed in some pesto sauce, and served over the pasta, which takes 15-16 minutes to cook in boiling water till al dente (just as the package directions had suggested; the pasta is fairly thin, so I was surprised that it took that long).

I also served a salad including Cincinnati radish (a first for me; rather strong in flavor) and lemon rosemary toast with Isle of Bute Foods' Scottish vegan "cream cheese" with chives. We enjoyed dinner!

Unexpectedly, I didn't do any cooking over the weekend. We had a great time canoeing with a friend yesterday and went out to eat Lebanese food (falafel, hummus, baba ghanouj, ...) at a small family-run restaurant on Ninth Street near Duke University in Durham. On Saturday, we ended up in Whole Foods in Raleigh after a fun hike; my wife was hungry so we ate there (a variety of dishes from the hot and cold salad bar, and slices of cheeseless vegan pizza) before doing some food shopping, then enjoyed walking around downtown Raleigh for a while.


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