Every time I turn around I keep hearing about Sicily. It started a few weeks back when I watched an episode of the Italian travel show Sereno Variabile on Rai TV. There was an interesting segment on a train trip through a variety of Baroque cities on the southeastern part of the island. I was fascinated and immediately went to my book shelf in search of information on Sicily. Did I even have a book on Sicily? We’ve never been. Of course I did find a book on the island and sat down and started devouring it. In the mean time I tuned into David Rocco’s Dolce Vita cooking program and lo and behold there he was in Sicily cooking up a storm with the locals.
Next my good friend V. told me she’s going to Sicily this fall and asked if I would help her with the planning. Of course I would-I live to research and dream about Italy. Over coffee with L., whose family came from Sicily, talk turned once again to traveling there. Then this morning I opened my email to find a message from the renowned chef and Italian food expert Faith Willinger announcing her upcoming tour to Sicily. Five days of cooking classes, sightseeing and eating with the pro herself. I want to go. I really want to go!
No, unless there’s a hidden treasure under a rock in our back yard, I won’t be going to Sicily this fall. I know we’ll be planning our own trip there before long and I can’t wait. In honor of my longing for a visit there, I’m using my homemade pasta and making a dish I saw on Dolce Vita-pasta with sauteed zucchini and mint. It will have to tide me over until I step off the boat there.
Spaghetti With Zucchini
1 pound spaghetti
4 zucchini,sliced into rounds
1 small bunch fresh mint
2 tablespoons capers, chopped (save a few whole for topping)
Extra-virigin olive oil
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add zucchini in a single layer and brown on one side and then turn over and brown the other side. Remove the zucchini and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle zucchini with salt while still hot.
Cook pasta to al dente and before draining save about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain pasta and add to the pan with the olive oil. Add zucchini, capers, most of the mint and some of the pasta water. Toss pasta, add a little salt and cook for about a minute. Turn pasta out onto a platter, top with whole capers and the rest of the mint. Serves: 4-6
Photo courtesy of Villa Ghimette.