To eat with real gusto is to enjoy the plate placed before you with zestfullness.

Zesty Zucchini Fusili - ©Tom Palladio ImagesWith the accent squarely on the letter “Z,” I’m prepping such a dish with fusilli (foo-ZEE-lee) pasta and market-fresh zucchini.

To complete the Z-theme, all I need to do is invite Zorro over for dinner, but, according to Bernardo, he’s off chasing bad guys aboard Tornado.

Oh well, I guess I’ll just dine alone and watch the French political thriller Z on the DVD player.

Shall we head into zee galley?

Zesty Zucchini Fusili - ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-1: Fill both a medium size and small size pot with water, cover both, and fire the heat under both to HIGH.

Zesty Zucchini Fusili - ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-2: Rinse clean and slice the zucchini into thin circles.

Zesty Zucchini Fusili - ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-3: Rinse clean and score the cherry tomatoes.

Step-4: Slice the black olives and discard the pits.

Zesty Zucchini Fusili - ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-5: The small pot of water is now boiling. Uncover and drop in the scored tomatoes. Remove from heat once the score line doubles in width, rinse under cold water then let the pot of tomatoes sit until cool enough to handle.

Step-6: Remove the outer papery-skin wrap from the garlic, and flatten the cloves with a butcher knife.

Zesty Zucchini Fusili - ©Tom Palladio Images  Zesty Zucchini Fusili - ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-7: The cherry tomatoes are now cool enough, so hand peel and cut into pieces.

Step-8: The medium size pot of water is now boiling. Uncover, add just about a handful of sea salt and drop in the fusilli. Stir vigorously for 15-sec. then continue the boil for 10-min.

Step-9: In a skillet, add the olive oil and fire the heat to MEDIUM.

Zesty Zucchini Fusili - ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-10: Add the garlic, crushed red pepper and a pinch or two of the remaining sea salt. Remove the garlic once it turns paper-bag brown (about 2min.).

Zesty Zucchini Fusili - ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-11: Add in the zucchini rounds and sauté in the oil for about 3-min.

Zesty Zucchini Fusili - ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-12: Add in the chopped tomatoes and black olives, and continue the sauté for another 2-min. Turn off heat and let the sauce rest.

Zesty Zucchini Fusili - ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-13: Pasta is now cooked. Turn off heat, drain pasta, add the fusilli to the sauce, fire the heat under the skillet to MEDIUM-HIGH and sauté for 1-min. until the pasta is well-coated with the sauce.

Zesty Zucchini Fusili - ©Tom Palladio Images  Zesty Zucchini Fusili - ©Tom Palladio Images

Step-14: Turn off heat, plate the pasta, sprinkle the grated cheese over the top and serve.

BUON APETITO!

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Recommend Wine PairingDominè Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore 2011Pievalta Vineyards s.r.l., Maiolati Spontini (AN), Italy

Zesty Zucchini Fusili - ©Tom Palladio Images

One of the stellar white wines produced by Pievalta s.r.l., a subsidiary vintner of the internationally acclaimed Barone Pizzini cellars, Dominè Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore 2011 is an award-winning varietal from the Marche region of central Italy.

Made from 100% Verdicchio grape and grown organically in strict adherence to, and certified by, Demeter International’s biodynamic standards, Dominè Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore 2011 has an enticing bouquet of flowers and aromatic herbs. On the palate, it has a strong, savory, persistent taste. It’s drinkability is both pleasing and engaging.

Zesty Zucchini Fusili - ©Tom Palladio Images

Golden yellow in the glass that matches the color of the  bottle’s label, Dominè Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore 2011 marries well with a variety of main-course fish dishes, shellfish salads, sushi, pasta and pizza.

SALUTE!

©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images

TPT_WhBorsalino_WM

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Written by The Palladian Traveler

Tom traded his hometown St. Louis Cardinals' baseball cap in the United States for a Borsalino and he now hangs his "capello" in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. A veteran print and broadcast journalist, with well-worn passports that have got him in and out of 49 countries and counting, Tom fell in love with the "Bel Paese" years ago. As he notes, "I'm inspired by the beauty I find in all things that are very, very old, and reliving history, or at least meandering along cobblestone streets that were laid down over a thousand years ago and just looking up and marveling at what occupies the space still today, really gets my 'Vespa' running." Tom has a good eye behind the lens and is a graphic storyteller, but he'll let you decide as he keeps his camera batteries fully charged and the posts flowing from his creative hideaway somewhere in the Veneto. You can also follow his dispatches from the cobblestone at TravelingBoy.com and ItalianNotebook.com.

6 comments

  1. I’ll have to try making this soon and I’ll look for the wine at our local wine shop, which is rather large. Off for dinner now. We’re having baked yams/sweet potatoes with homemade guac on top along with steamed green beans. Yum.

    janet

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