This is a classic Amalfi dish of summer zucchini with garlic and butter. It is so simple, but to say it is delicious just doesn’t do it justice – mouthwatering and totally addictive are two terms that do come to mind. Try it please, it will become a firm favourite with you as it is with me. This recipe will serve 8 as an entrée and I like to serve it with a Sauvignon Blanc.
Cavatelli with Zucchini
600g “00” flour
1 cup (firmly packed) basil
Finely grated find of 1 lemon
Finely grated parmesan, to serve
200g butter, coarsely chopped
1kg zucchini, sliced 5cm thick
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Knead flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 260ml water in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook until dough is very smooth (15 minutes; you may need to add a little more water). Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest (30 minutes).
Divide dough into 5 pieces. Roll each into a cylinder on a lightly floured surface and cut in half, then roll each half into a 1cm-diameter cylinder. Cut each into 1cm pieces and dust lightly with flour. Flatten each piece to form a long oval, then press 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 lightly dusted with flour and repeat with remaining dough.
For zucchini sauce, heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add zucchini in batches and stir occasionally until zucchini is tender, but butter and zucchini are not coloured (5 minutes). Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add 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 just cooked (3-4 minutes). Drain, reserving 300ml pasta water, and return pasta to pan with zucchini mixture. Add 100ml reserved pasta water, stir over medium heat (1 minute), then continue adding reserved pasta water 100ml at a time and stir until zucchini is very tender and liquid forms a thick sauce (2-3 minutes; you may not need all the reserved pasta water). Stir in basil and lemon rind, season to taste and serve hot with grated parmesan.