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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spagh-a-Chini


Zucchinis in the garden,
Zucchinis in the store,
Zucchinis overflowing,
Zucchinis more and more!

Well, that's how it's supposed to happen.  Everyone says zucchini is so easy to grow and there's always too much of the stuff.  People joke about sneaking around the neighbourhood after dark,leaving zucchini on doorsteps, trying to get rid of the abundance of their harvest.

It never happened to me.  I planted zucchini in my garden and got nothing.  Some days all I had were female flowers and other days nothing but male flowers.  And the days I had both male and female flowers blossoming it was raining so hard the pollen was too soggy to make little fertilized zucchini.  Sooooo..... no zucchini in my garden.   And I had great visions of graciously passing out my overflow crop to family and friends.  Sigh.....  Today I bought zucchini at the supermarket.

When I told my son I was going to make sautéed zucchini he said, "Why don't you just make something like spaghetti."  So I thought I'd do both and use the zucchini sauté as the sauce for the spaghetti--something I now call Spag-a-chini.

I've had the zucchini recipe for a few years.  I picked it up at the grocery store by the herb and spice display and I've been making a version of this ever since.

Here's the original recipe from the card, which uses the dried onion and oregano and is very good as is.  But look below for my improved, and to my mind, better recipe.


The original recipe.
Tomato Zucchini Sauté
1 pound sliced zucchini (about 3 medium to small)
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium tomatoes, cut in wedges
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Sauté zucchini and onion in the butter.  Add the tomatoes, garlic salt, oregano and pepper.  Sauté for 5 minutes.  


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BUT...... this is how I created my version which is super good and I think even better than the original.  I add lots of onion (❤), fresh garlic, more tomatoes and cheese.  This dish just cries out for cheese. And isn't everything better with cheese?  But it's also good without the cheese if you'd prefer to have it that way.  The sautéed zucchini is excellent as a side dish and we've enjoyed it like this for years.  I don't know why I never married the two dishes before today. 

The Best Tomato Zucchini Sauté
1 pound sliced zucchini (about three 7-8 inch squash)
1 onion, roughly chopped or sliced
2 tablespoons oil (Olive oil is really nice if you have it.)
1 or 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
3 medium tomatoes, cut in wedges (You can peel tomatoes if you  wish.  In a pinch use whole canned tomatoes.)
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
½ - 1 teaspoon oregano or to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup grated Mozzarella cheese (or your favourite)
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Over medium heat add oil to a large pan.  Sauté zucchini and onion for 3 or 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until softened.  Sauté another few minutes or until zucchini and onions are tender crisp or to your liking. Add the tomatoes, salt, oregano and pepper.  Adjust seasonings.  Sprinkle the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese over top and cover for an additional 1 minute until cheese is melted. 

To make the Spagh-a-Chini
Add 2 tablespoons tomato paste and ½ cup water to the Zucchini Sauté when you add the tomatoes.  Let the tomatoes break down.  It won't take very long, maybe another 2 minutes.  

Cook ½ box spaghetti, according to package directions. (I use whole wheat and it comes in the 375 g box which is a few ounces shy of a pound.

Serve the Zucchini over the cooked spaghetti passing extra cheese for sprinkling.

Makes 4 medium servings.


A marriage of vegetables and pasta.

Vegetables ready for the pan sitting on my bamboo cutting board--a gift from my son.

Freeze opened tomato paste in 1 or 2 tablespoon portions for easy access.
Zucchini and Onions in the frying pan.

Grated Mozzarella cheese ready to sprinkle over the finished dish.

Hot and bubbly, ready to be spooned over the spaghetti.
Spagh-a-Chini served with Spinach & Mushroom Salad and Pesto Garlic Toast.


Now, that's AMORE!



5 comments:

  1. Looks delicious! I believe I have had this before.

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  2. Yes, it was good. Maybe you've had it here or Peter made it.

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  3. It was delicious! Lori even had some zucchini. :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh, so glad you liked it. Lori is going to have sophisticated taste buds. LOL

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