Are you afraid of squash blossoms that are flooding farmers markets now?
Don’t be. The blossoms are versatile and easy to cook up. Grab some if you can.
Stuff the blossoms with mozzarella and anchovy and fry them coated with a light batter. Use them as a topping for a tomato-less pizza. Or make this really simple pasta cream sauce that will be on your table in the time it takes to cook the pasta.
Slice the blossoms into 1-inch ribbons. Saute the shallot with butter and extra virgin olive oil. When the shallot is translucent add the blossom ribbons and saffron. Finish with heavy cream and cook until the sauce thickens.
Add the cooked pasta and toss with the sauce to finish cooking. Shut off the heat. Add grated parmigiano and a sprinkle of grated black pepper and toss well.
That’s it. Sit down and eat.
Most of the sauce will be absorbed by the pasta and some will coat it too. The yellow-orange blossoms pleasingly speckle the saffron-tinted pasta and add a hint of zucchini flavor. Mild shallot deepens the flavor of the mellow parmigiano cream sauce.
Every eye-pleasing bite is a mouthful of delicate complex flavor. So simple and so delicious.
- 1 pound or 500 grams fresh tagliatelle, linguine or fettuccine. Or use a long dried pasta. I used fettuccine here
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 12 zucchini blossoms, sliced into ribbons
- Pinch of saffron
- ¾ cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup grated parmigiano
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Put a big pot of well-salted water on to boil.
- Cut off the dark green base of the squash blossom and the stem. The pistil should fall out. Discard the pistil and stem piece.
- Slice the blossoms horizontally into 1-inch ribbons.
- Put the butter and olive in a large saute pan over medium heat.
- When the butter begins to bubble add the shallot and cook until the the shallot is translucent, about 1 minute.
- Lower the heat to medium-low.
- Add the sliced blossoms and sea salt to taste to the pan and stir to coat the blossoms with the butter and oil.
- Cook until the blossoms soften and become fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the saffron and mix well.
- Add the cream and cook stirring well until the cream begins to thicken.
- In the meantime, when the water is at a rapid boil. add the fresh or dried pasta (Fresh pasta should take less than 5 minutes to rise to the surface and be perfectly al dente. Follow the package directions for dried pasta. Cook until al dente.)
- While pasta is cooking warm the sauce over low heat.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste and the grated parmigiano. Mix well to coat the pasta evenly with the sauce and cheese.
- Serve immediately with extra grated parmigiano on the table for your guests.