Cavatelli pasta with zucchini and garlic

all details

If time and energy is short, you can replace the cavatelli with a store-bought pasta - penne works well.

Neil Perry's Cavatelli pasta with zucchini and garlic.
Neil Perry's Cavatelli pasta with zucchini and garlic. Photo: William Meppem

Ingredients

  • 600g "00" flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 1 cup basil, firmly packed
  • rind of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • parmesan, finely grated, to serve

  • For zucchini sauce
  • 200g butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1kg zucchini, sliced 5mm thick
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

 

Method

Knead the flour, salt and 260ml water in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook until dough is very smooth and comes together into a ball (about 15 minutes). It may seem too dry at first, but don't add extra water. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

Divide dough into 5 pieces. Roll each into a cylinder on a lightly floured surface and cut in half. Roll each half into a 1cm-diameter cylinder. Cut each into 1cm pieces and dust with flour. Flatten each piece to form a long oval then press gently lengthways along the centre of each piece with a butter knife to create an indent, with the sides rolling in towards one another. Transfer cavatelli to a tray dusted with flour and repeat with remaining dough.

For the zucchini sauce, heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the zucchini in batches. Stir occasionally until the zucchini is tender but the butter and zucchini are not coloured (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add the garlic to pan, cook until translucent (3-4 minutes), return zucchini to pan and keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in batches in salted boiling water until al dente (about 2-3 minutes). Drain, reserving 300ml pasta water, and return pasta to pan with zucchini mixture. Add 100ml pasta water, stir over medium heat for 1 minute then continue adding reserved water, 100ml at a time, and stir until zucchini is tender and liquid forms a thick sauce (about 2-3 minutes; you may not need all the reserved water).

Stir in the basil and lemon rind, season to taste and serve hot with grated parmesan.

Serves 4-6

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  • Main Ingredients - Pasta, Zucchini
  • Cuisine - Italian
  • Course - Main-course
  • Occasion - Dinner Party, Family meals

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2 reviews so far

  • Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

    Ditch the butter and replace with high quality olive oil.

    Also add some more parmesan to the dish when mixing, then some more to garnish.

    This will make a cleaner Tuscan dish with better flavour (if its a great olive oil and you don't skimp!)

    Commenter
    RM
    Location
    Date and time
    December 09, 2013, 10:09AM
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    I made a modified version of this tonight which turned out really tasty.

    I too love good quality extra virgin olive oil so I substituted the butter with oil and liberally drizzled it on the pasta dish at the end.

    I also added lots of Pecorino cheese finely grated. Pecorino is similar to Parmesan - either will work well.
    I finely chopped the basil and left some roughly torn and mixed it through.
    In addition I added cherry tomatoes lightly cooked in olive oil (just enough to make them juicy), roughly broken walnuts and a little bit of thinly sliced rings of red onion, lightly caramelised in olive oil.
    In my opinion I think walnuts and cherry tomatoes added to the taste as well as the contrast of colours and the olive oil definitely goes well with this dish.
    I didn't have any lemon rind on hand so I put a tiny splash of red wine vinegar and seasoned with good quality salt. I ended up using penne pasta, but homemade pasta tastes great if you have the time.

    Thanks for the recipe which inspired me to experiment a little.

    Commenter
    BC
    Location
    Date and time
    December 09, 2013, 7:49PM

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