Trenette with Zucchini Blossoms & Cream

Trenette con Fiori di Zucchini e Panna

zucchini-blossoms-pasta-5

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Ever notice that if someone asks whether you’ve spotted something unusual, something you’ve only seen rarely, if ever, that suddenly it becomes commonplace? Say, for example, you’re asked if you’ve ever seen a pink Cadillac. No matter your answer, over the next few days or weeks, you’ll see enough pink Cadillacs to make you wonder whether there’s a Mary Kay convention in town. (Now there’s an allusion that will send some of you to Mr. Google.)

I mention this because when in Italy in 2014, my friends and I noticed that boar was often on the menu. True enough, once it was mentioned, boar was seemingly served in virtually every restaurant we entered. Was it a question of boar suddenly being readily available, or, was it that we had finally noticed? It mattered little because I must admit that I did take full advantage of the situation, enjoying everything from lunches of boar prosciutto panini to suppers of tagliatelle dressed with a variety of sauces prepared with boar meat.

Oddly enough, I noticed a similar phenomenon during my visit to Italy this past spring. Somewhere along the way, while struggling to meet the rigors of my newly created pasta-a-day diet, I noticed that zucchini blossoms were very often included in my pasta. (There were a lot of sardines, too, but I’ll save them for another post.) Though the sauces were very often “white”, a few did include some halved cherry tomatoes. The protein could be a little pork. like today’s recipe, or seafood, as was served to us in Riccione, where my family gathered for a seafood feast. (In that dish, passatini were served with shrimp and both zucchini and its blossoms.) Needless to say, I took full advantage of the situation ordering my pasta with blossoms as frequently as possible. (It’s the little things — zucchini blossoms, calamari, clams, boar, a glass or three of wine — that made it easier for me to adhere to the strict rules of my new diet.) The question, however, remains. Was there a sudden increase of menu selections that included zucchini blossoms, or, did I just happen to notice them during this visit? I guess I’ll never know … Unless … Maybe I should go back to Italy and conduct more research. You know, for science …

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zucchini-blossom

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Today’s dish was certainly inspired by those that I was served while in Italy. In fact, upon coming home, I immediately planted zucchini while the memories of so many tasty dishes still lingered on my mind’s palate. Well, that was the plan. You see, for some reason, each and every blossom that appeared suddenly vanished. At first, I thought it was a cute little bunny that I saw lingering around my yard. A well-placed fence would keep it at bay, to be sure. Even with the fence installed, however, the blossoms continued to disappear. Unless that once-cute-little-bunny-now-full-grown rabbit knew how to use tools, it could not possibly have been the culprit. (If it does know how to use tools, I’ve got more to fear than a few missing zucchini blossoms.) No matter the cause, I harvested only 1 blossom this season. More to the point, the blossoms used here, as well as those used in future recipes, were all purchased at the farmers market, save that one.

ETA: Kathryn, AnotherFoodieBlogger, mentioned that I need to plant as many as 3 plants to ensure any sort of zucchini crop. I certainly haven’t the space for 3 and do not know whether I’ll try again next year with 2 plants. I really don’t care about the zucchini. All I want is a steady supply of blossoms and I’ve yet to figure out why the blossoms all vanished.

There’s only really one thing worth mentioning before getting to the good stuff. The most difficult part of this recipe is preparing the blossoms. Be sure to open each one and remove its pistil, anthers, and whatever else you may find in there. (That last bit, the part about “whatever else”, is the difficult one. You’ll know what I mean if you find an 8-legged behemoth in there staring back at you.) Once cleaned and debugged, only the flower’s petals will remain. Cut them in half, lengthwise, and you’re set to go. The rest of the recipe is quite straightforward and you shouldn’t have any trouble preparing this tasty dish.

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zucchini-blossoms-1x

Blossoms Before & After Neutering

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Trenette with  Zucchini Blossoms & Cream Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 oz trenette pasta cooked about a minute shy of al dente (see Notes) – linguine, fettuccine, or tagliatelle may be substituted
  • olive oil
  • 2 oz pancetta – guanciale or unsmoked bacon can be substituted (see Notes)
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 6 zucchini blossoms, cleaned and halved lengthwise – more or less to taste and availability (sigh)
  • 3 to 4 ounces of heavy cream, depending upon the amount of pasta being prepared
  • grated Pecorino Romano cheese — Parmigiano Reggiano may be substituted
  • reserved pasta water
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • torn fresh basil leaves for garnish

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zucchini-blossoms-pasta-1

This year’s zucchini harvest. (It was delicious!)

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Directions

  1. In a large frypan, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the pancetta and sauté.
  2. Once the fat has rendered and before the pancetta hardens, add the shallots and sauté until soft. If the pan is dry, add a bit more olive oil. (See Notes)
  3. Add the halved zucchini blossoms and continue to sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the heavy cream and allow to reduce just a bit before adding the cooked pasta.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons of grated cheese, stir gently, and continue to cook until the pasta is al dente. If too dry, add a little pasta water to moisten the pan’s contents.
  6. Taste to see if salt or pepper is needed.
  7. Remove to a serving platter, garnished with grated cheese, torn basil leaves, and freshly cracked pepper.
  8. Serve immediately, dreaming of the day when you’ll no longer need to buy zucchini blossoms. (Maybe that’s just me.)

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zucchini-blossoms-pasta-4

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Notes

Like most simple pasta dishes, the secret lies in the timing. Try to have the pasta cooked just shy of al dente when the zucchini blossom mixture is just about fully cooked. Remember to check package directions when using store-bought pasta. If using freshly made, allow about 3 minutes for cooking.

In today’s dish, pancetta was used but guanciale, or even bacon, could easily be substituted. Whatever pork product you choose, try to avoid using one that’s smoked. Very often, the smoky flavoring will overpower every other element of the dish. You want to taste pork, not smoke.

The amount of pancetta and blossoms needed will depend upon the number of servings being prepared. For example, here, I prepared 8 oz (225 g) of pasta. You’ll need more if you’re going to prepare a pound (450 g) of pasta.

It is always better to add more oil to the pan once the pork fat has been rendered than to use too much early on and have to pour off any excess. There’s plenty of flavor in that excess that you’re removing from the pan.

Whenever you prepare a pasta dish, ALWAYS reserve a few ounces of the pasta water just before straining the pasta. It can be used to resurrect even the driest of pasta dishes and its starch content will help to thicken the thinnest of sauces. In my kitchen, it’s better than duct tape.

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

fried-sage-look-back

 

How could I share a food souvenir of my last trip to Italy without taking a look at my favorite souvenir from my trip to Italy in 2014? That was the trip when we discovered fried sage leaves stuffed with anchovies. This little antipasto is both salty and fried. Simply put, it has everythingI You can learn how to prepare it by clicking HERE.

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Fried Fish Tacos - Preview

Fish Tacos with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

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117 thoughts on “Trenette with Zucchini Blossoms & Cream

  1. Yes,for the sake of science, John, it’s your responsibility to research and serve up the results. Never tried boar, what’s it like (and don’t say chicken. 🙂 ) I’d never heard of quinoa, then suddenly it was everywhere.
    When I was pregnant the first time round, it seemed to me that the whole female world belonged to the same club. Big bumps, little bumps, they were everywhere I looked.

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  2. Heavens, you’ve made me laugh and yes, I Googled Mary Kay and the pink Cadillac. Who knew (on this side on the pond)? Am now visualising giant tool-wielding bunnies seeking revenge for all the family members I’ve put in the pot. Lovely dish and I always appreciate your very helpful notes at the end of your posts. Lx

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    • Thanks, Linda. I’m not so sure I’ll try again next year. I was able to buy all of the blossoms I needed at the farmers market this season. In fact, I just saw them last weekend. Why put up with tool-wielding rabbits, blossom-craving bugs, or whatever when I can just buy them when I need? I’ll have winter to mull it over — once I’ve locked up the tools in the garage. You never know …

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean, Tish. The vendor had blossoms last weekend but we had a cold spell since. I’m not so sure he’ll have them this weekend or next, the market’s closing date. I really cannot complain, though. I took full advantage this year. 🙂

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  3. I’ll have to try this next year during zucchini season. It seems as if the blossoms are becoming more popular here as well. I like to put them on a grilled pizza with just ricotta, drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. I’ve had the problem of blossoms falling off sometimes too and I usually have 5 or so plants! The mysteries of gardening, every year you never know what will happen.

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    • On pizza? Oh, yum! I have to give that a try — next year. ((sigh))
      I’m not so sure I’ll plant any zucchini next year, Grethchen. I really don’t have room for 3 plants and planting 2 may not work. Besides, one vendor at the farmers market has them all season long. He even had them last weekend. I just might leave things as they are and buy the blossoms and zucchini when I need them. It’s not as much fun but it certainly is less aggravating.

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  4. Hi Dear John, How you doing?
    WUAOOO your dish is so colorfull and attractive! I like zucchini cooked in all ways, but with trenette they’d be delicious! What a pitty that their time finshed… I usually cooking them with seafish: you getting crazy, believe me John… for while I take care of my soul with your fantastic dish!
    have a good week!

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  5. It’s 4:30 A. M. and I know pasta will be on tonight’s dinner menu. I doubt if I can find any zucchini blossoms, but will definitely finally try a dish with these next spring. I love the photo of your main star blossom.

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    • See, Angeline? This is why I quit looking at blogs in the wee hours of the morning. I usually ended the session with some kind of “snack”. Left over pasta is no snack, no matter what I told myself at 4:00 am. Sure was tasty, though. 🙂

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  6. I so agree with what you say. Only yesterday I watched an episode of Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Feast and there he was at the the crack of dawn in a field collecting zucchini flowers ! They are indeed delicious but I do also remember something about male and female flowers and leaving enough of each to allow for pollination. But don’t ask me more, they took up so much space we only grew them once!

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    • Yeah, space is the issue, Tanya. I attempted to grow mine vertically and it did well – except for the lack of blooms. I’ve no room for 3 plants, however, unless I really cram them into that spot. I may get more blossoms and zucchini but I wouldn’t be able to get to them. And in another corner of the garden, I just know that rabbit will be watching me, laughing. 😀

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  7. I get your mary Kaye reference. My mom was all about it. I like e wild boar and see it on Italian and Latin American menus more often than elsewhere. Your zucchini blossoms are beautiful. Theyre so fragile. Sorry you had such a tough time keeping them around. When I was working from mexico city last year there were pulled off them so high in the covered markets that they were in soups, quesadillas, tacos and appetizers. I wanted to bring them home but customs… Anyway gorgeous dish. I know id love this!

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    • My Mom was more an Avon Lady kinda woman. I did enjoy the various boar pasta dishes just as I did those with zucchini blossoms. Let’s be honest, you’d have to try very hard to come up with a pasta dish that I didn’t like, Amanda. VERY hard. They are fragile and that’s the main reason for wanting to grow my own. I envisioned the convenience of picking the blossoms for that night’s supper. Oh, well. I’ll just make Saturday night, zucchini blossom night and buy them each weekend at the market.

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  8. Wonderful post John, you sure made me laugh! I have never had zucchini blossoms with pasta before and this dish looks and sounds so 😋
    When I was expecting my first baby it seemed that everywhere I went, every corner I turned, there was another pregnant woman! Might it be the Laws Of Attraction, who knows!!

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    • Thank you, Marissa. Blossoms in pasta was completely new to me, too. What a happy — and tasty — surprise! Since then, I’ve done some googling and there are many more ways to prepare them Of course, I’d much rather go out into the field and do my research. You know, get back to Italy for study. 🙂

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  9. We’re big believers in research and science. Dedicated to it, you might say. 🙂 Zucchini blossoms are wonderful, aren’t they? We sometimes cut through an alley in the rear of a really good restaurant, and notice they have a nice plot of them that they’re growing. Talk about fresh! Anyway, such a dish dish — restaurant worthy. Thanks!

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    • People like us, researchers dedicated to science, are a dying breed, I’m afraid, John.
      Love restaurants that grow there own, Rick Bayliss was one of the first to do it here, on the rooftop of one of his establishments.If I passed a local place with a zucchini blossom plot, they’d be sick of me showing up to order whatever dish(es) they were a part of. 😀

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  10. If I did smilie faces, there would be one here! I know what you mean by seeing something everywhere once it impinges on your consciousness – it was chickpeas for me this year in Tuscany. Everywhere we went, there were chickpeas this or that, or things made with chickpea flour on the menu. I love the subtle zucchini flavour of the blossoms and I like your descriptive word “neutering” to describe removing the pistil, anthers and creepy crawlies. Plus, nice recipe!

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    • Funny ins’t it? I swear if someone mentioned seeing a zebra at the zoo, I’d see pics of them everywhere. I didn’t notice chickpeas while I was in Italy but that may be due to the fact that the blossoms crowded them off the menu in spring. I do enjoy them, however, and am so glad I was introduced to other uses for the blossoms besides frying.

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  11. I too can never get enough blossoms to save my life…mine drop off due to some kind of stem rot..or something just chews them off…Grrr! I’m curious about your pasta a day diet…does that mean you are eating a pasta dish of some kind everyday?? That sounds like the best diet I have ever heard of…as long as it’s accompanied by wine! 🙂
    You know that Italian phrase…”A meal without wine is like a life without love” :))

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    • Sadly, Chris, that diet was only in effect while I was on holiday. It worked, too. I didn’t gain a single pound while I was away and I did, indeed, eat some form of pasta every day. My nephew even started asking beforehand if this was to be the pasta meal for the day. 🙂 Talk about heaven on earth! I’m nowhere near that active at home now and, therefore, my diet is back to normal. ((sigh))

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  12. Great post, John. Wonderful simple pasta dish. Unfortunately, zucchini blossoms are very hard to come by. I think because there is no market for them, because we have endless greenhouses with zucchini (and eggplant, peppers, tomatoes). I recognize the phenomenon you mention. As soon as we had rented an RV, we saw them everywhere.

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    • The lack of blossoms in The Netherlands is surprising to me, Stefan. I’ve always been impressed with the variety of produce in your country when I’ve visited. Then again, I really wasn’t looking for specific items. I would think that the last thing you’d want to see would be RVs everywhere. Still, it looked like you guys had a wonderful time despite all of the company on the road. 🙂

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  13. What a pretty and absolutely delicious looking dish this is, John. I’ve had zucchini blossoms disappear like that, too, and never been able to get any to cook with. In fact, I still haven’t cooked any because I never see them in the wilds of the grocery store! I love your how-to on using them and am filing that away. Wish I could reach in a taste some of this pasta dish. 🙂

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    • I’ve only rarely — very rarely — at the grocery, Betsy, but they’re readily available at the farmers market. And I take full advantage. That’s why I’m re-thinking planting zucchini again next year. Why bother when they’re so easy to get whenever I want? Of course, I say this now but, over the long winter, visions of a bountiful harvest will dance before me and I’ll probably end up planting them again. 🙂

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  14. What a beautiful dish, John. I wonder what Zucchini blossoms taste like, I’ve only had them fried and the frying obliterates the flavour. Too bad about your crop, our neighbours stopped growing tomatoes because they were sick and tired of feeding the wildlife! I haven’t seen zucchini blossoms in the markets, but I’m sure some specialty stores would have them.
    I think it would be a worthy trip to research the zucchini blossoms on menus in Italy, I think you would also need some additional taste testers, for which JT and I would happily volunteer! I actually have some fresh sage in my garden, and some gorgeous unsalted white anchovies in the fridge…perhaps a little treat is in order?!?!?!?!

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    • I think we should form an expeditionary force, apply for grants, and seek out all we can about zucchini blossoms. The culinary world will thank us, to be sure.
      I’ve rarely seen the blossoms at groceries, Eva. One vendor at the farmers market has them. though, all season. In fact, today was the first time this season when there were none in his stall. I didn’t think to ask. I was too mesmerized by the bin of fresh peas. I spent a half hour this afternoon shelling the green beauties. 😀

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    • I really don’t know the answer, Kathryn. Zucchini vines bloom all season. Perhaps I was there for the first flush of blooms? It really doesn’t matter, though. I learned a few new dishes and ate a whole lot more. My kind of vacation!

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    • So long as this one vendor at the farmers market doesn’t go out of business, I’ll have a steady supply of blossoms all season, Ronit. Today was the first time he didn’t have any. I really cannot complain about availability, unlike I can about that rabbit! 🙂

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    • Hello, Norma. myself have not tried other blossoms but I’m sure that blossoms of any or the squash family would be tasty. I guess the flavor of boar would depend on how the animal was raised — wild or domesticated. I’ve found that some boar has a mildly gamey flavor, in addition to its pork flavorings.

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  15. Numero uno: have laughed my head off one hour before ‘The Third Debate’ during which my knowledge of words unbecoming will no doubt come to the fore. Numero due: Have you begun your second book yet with your talent of writing and that sense of humour? Numero trei: oops, yep I too remember Mary Kaye, tho’ she was never part of my world. Never mind about age comments Milord!!! Numero quattro: luv stuffed zucchini blossoms . . . . and you ARE teaching me something new. Numero cinque: how about we exchange my kangaroo for your boar? Nice and friendly??

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    • You think your words were unbecoming? Poor Max and Lucy have heard nothing else whenever the news is broadcast. I just hope Lucy doesn’t start repeating any of it. I’d hate to spend the rest of my days listening to her rant, in my voice, no less! I only heard of Mary Kaye. Mom was an Avon Lady customer. 🙂
      I. too, love those blossoms. Cannot wait until they’re available again. I’ve had kangaroo, Eha. When I was in Oz. It was served with a strawberry & cracked pepper sauce. To be honest, I was more impressed by the sauce, never having tasted anything like it before then. Mind, this was about 25 years ago, long before preparing food became every bit as important to me as devouring it. 🙂
      I hope your internet problems are being addressed and this time to your complete satisfaction. Fingers crossed. Now it’s time for the Cubs game.

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      • Darn you, John Amici – I have never been to a baseball game and now I am following the Cubs also . . . .1:1 and a tad ahead . . . . nope, the new ‘Telstra Mail’ is still arguing with me but seven years of being on the Net must have brought some unfair knowledge to get past things! Am sneaking in thru’ closed back doors!! Bestest!!!! And also to Max and Lucy . . . . can you make a tape 🙂 ?

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        • Lucy is far too smart for such. I’ve tried for years to get a video of her going after Max’s tail when he and I play but the minute she sees the camera, she hides behind her toys. I eventually realized that I was failing at outsmarting a “dumb animal” and, with a bruised ego, I gave up. 🙂

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          • Back after a lunch you would not have cooked [liver, spinach and mushrooms!] . . . sugar hope it is not 3:1 against . . . just remember you have not been in the final since 1945 🙂 ! But: ruddy Indians!!!!

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          • Whatever happens, John – remember you will ne’er again hear Bill Murray sing such an impassioned plea ‘Take me out to the Ballgame’ 🙂 ! Bestest!!!!

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          • “… ne’er again”? That little ditty has been replayed over and over again here. We are far from hearing the end of it, believe me., Eha.

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  16. I am also intrigued about the disappearance of your blossoms. Bugs? This is a great recipe John, I often have a surfeit of zucchini and their blossoms and have just put my lot in the ground for the season. I look forward to making this pasta.
    I have noticed the prevalence of boar in dishes when in Italy – I wonder if there are enough to go around really and whether they are ‘beefed up’ a little. I notice mainly because I don’t eat meat and am looking at the zucchini flower options ( or other wonderful Italian veggie creations)

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    • It was the great mystery of my 2016 garden, Francesca. I even caught my neighbor looking at my plant, shaking her head all the while. Unlike many, I have a good source for blossoms at the farmers market. I just may forego growing my own and buy a bunch when I need them. This would also avoid the much dreaded zucchini glut that planting 3 vines would be sure to produce. You may be right about the boar. It’s just so prevalent. I know that here, in the southern states, wild boar have increased in numbers so greatly as to pose problems for the farmers and some restaurants are beginning to offer boar on their menus. There aren’t enough hunters nor restaurants yet to make an appreciable difference. How I wish I knew one of those hunters!

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      • Here, around Melbourne, we have a problem with feral deer, though unlike Italy, anything that is ‘feral’ may be shot but not necessarily reach the meat market. The hunters can’t shoot enough of them. This is one pest you don’t want in your veggie patch.

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        • We had problems with deer in Michigan. They’d walk through the property every evening to feed on the fallen apples. That’s the good news. The bad is that they’ would stop along the way to raid the gardens. We just couldn’t get a tall enough fence to keep them out but let the light in. Worse, in early spring or late fall, with no vegetables to devour, they’d turn their attention to the flower beds. Bambi was not a very popular character in our homes. 🙂

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  17. Next year I will have enough room to plant zucchini and you can bet I’ll be taking those blooms. I’ve never had the pleasure of eating them, but I am already salivating about using this recipe. I do still have sage outside and just may have to whip up a bunch of those for my weekend noshing!

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    • You are going to enjoy the blossoms, Abbe. Up until this last trip, I’ve always stuffed them with cheese, among other things, and batter-dipped them before deep frying. Heaven! Seeing them prepared in a number of simple paste was a game changer. Someone even mentioned using them on pizza! I cannot wait for Spring to get here! As for the sage, you’re in for a real treat. I love the flavors of salty and fried and this little appetizer delivers both in every mouthful. Love ’em!

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  18. I love zucchini blossoms, but I have to say this post made me mad/sad– it reminded me that I completely missed out on zucchini blossoms this summer. No one seemed to carry it around here. I asked at the farmers market and they said the wet spring meant they got started planting late in the season, but in fact they blossoms never showed up!

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    • That’s too bad, Frank. I had no such problems this year at all. In fact, yesterday was the first Saturday of the season where there were no blossoms. With the market closing down this weekend for the winter, I’ve probably seen the last of the tasty flowers for the year. I sure enjoyed them while I could, though. I hope you find a supply next year. 🙂

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  19. Buongiorno John! That is so funny as when we were in Bologna seriously every restaurant had boar on the menu. I had it couple of times and when it is done right, it is gorgeous. In HK, there are wild boar sightings all the time and I have never seen it on a menu or maybe when they say beef hot pot, really that is boar hot pot… LOL Love zucchini blossoms too. We better get them now before the frost. Lovely pasta dish, simple and delicious. I wonder if you can freeze zucchini blossoms, probably not, as they are so delicate. Wishing you a super week.

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    • Buongiorno BAM! See? So you noticed it, too! I’m a pork lover so I was very happy but one of us was a vegetarian and, well, not as impressed. We’ve got wild boar in the south and their numbers are causing problems for the farmers. Hunting is helping to reduce the population and some restaurants are beginning to offer boar dishes. Still, they’ve a long way to go before the numbers drop significantly.
      Oh, how I wish you could freeze these blossoms. You certainly would not be able to stuff them after being frozen but maybe they’d be OK in pasta? Hmmm. Maybe I’ll give it a try next summer. Yesterday, my favorite vendor failed to have blossoms for the first time all season. The market closes next Saturday so I think it safe to say that I’ve seen my last blossom for the year. Winter really is coming. ((sigh))
      I hope you, too, have a great week, BAM!

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  20. I remember wild boar in every restaurant I’ve been to in my visits to Italy (not that many, three maybe?) – love the stuff

    zucchini blossoms – I never made them myself, and guess what? This morning I see two blossoms in our backyard – not sure if I’ll be brave enough to cook them, come to think of it by the time I get home Bogey might have destroyed them… that dog is like having Dennis the Menace around… 😉

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    • I think I first became aware of boar’s “presence” at the Mercato Centrale in Florence, Sally. One of the vendors had a leg of boar that had been used to make prosciutto, What set it apart from all others was that it was coated in a thick fur! After that, we three started noticing boar more frequently and once one of us mentioned it, well, that was it. All we saw, everywhere, was boar. Pork lover that I am, I was in heaven!
      From what I understand, the blossoms are always harvested first thing in the morning and, from personal experience, their shelf life is very short. That was the attraction to growing my own. I could prepare them when I wanted and not on Saturday when I got home from the market. Oh, well.
      Your Bogey and my Max would get along famously and we must make sure that they never meet. NEVER! The world as we know it would be forever changed, no doubt about it. 🙂

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  21. I think now that you’ve authored a cook book you can easily justify more travels to Italy! Just think of the research you must continue to collect! This sounds like a heavenly pasta, John. I’ve seen the squash blossoms at the farmer’s markets but never brought them home. I’d love to try. My entire summer garden, except for tomatoes, was a real disappointment. I had minimal zucchini yield and have no idea why. I know I didn’t have a garden bunny! I will still be by next week to see those delicious fish tacos…even if the Cubs blow right on past the Dodgers on their way to the series! I do hope you’re enjoying the games…so much better than politics! 🙂

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    • I do hope you take the plunge next season, Debra, and buy some blossoms. If pasta isn’t your thing, you can stuff them with cheese and any of a number of ingredients, batter-dip, and fry them. Real tasty! I’ve already posted one recipe like that and have another in the works, although I may wait until next season to share it. If you’re not one to fry, adding them to a simple pasta dish works very well. The blossoms’ delicate flavor requires a lightly seasoned dish, lest the blossoms get lost but you’ll get it done, no problem. Just remember that they should be used ASAP or they’ll wilt.
      I’ve already voted simply because I am so over all of this political stuff. Now I can ignore it all without feeling that I’m missing something important. Well, that’s the plan, anyway. 🙂

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  22. Oh yes, selective perception! Happens to me all the time, too. The most severe case I can remember was while I was pregnant: baby bumps everywhere 😉
    But back to the pasta: It´s unbelievable how straightforward, yet delicious this recipe is. I will definitely jump on the zucchini blossom train as soon as I can get my hands on some!
    PS: love the mention of your harvest – if it´s any consolation, I had exactly 4 cherry tomatoes this year! How´s that for a green thumb 😉

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    • Sabine, I just read your comment. During summer, I usually pick a bucket of cherry tomatoes eah day. (I am exaggerating but we get a massive amount) They love it here. I guess it all depends on the weather. One year I got three raspberries.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hello, Sabine. You’re not alone. A number of women have mentioned the “baby bump phenomenon” earlier in the Comments.
      This dish is very reminiscent of the paste that my Mom and Zia would serve. Their food was, for the most part, simple and made with fresh ingredients. It took me years to realize that less really is more.
      My neighbors and I all had disappointing tomato harvests this season, as well. On the plus side, my eggplants and chiles outdid themselves. I’ve still got more of each to pick and we’re just about to reach November. This has never happened in my gardens. Never! 🙂

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  23. i fiori di zucca sono una grande delizia, e conosco moltissime ricette per pepararli ! li adoro soprattutto ripieni, oltre che in diversi modi di frittura o di frittate! qui in Toscana si dice che ” fritti sono buoni anche i cavicchi” ha ha ha ma certo, fra i cavicchi e i fiori di zucca ne passa di acqua…o meglio di olio!!!!
    sempre un piacere leggere i tuoi spunti creativi, anche se mi fanno un pò tralasciare i sani principi di una giuata dieta!
    buon fine settimana Johm

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Anna. I do wish we lived nearer to each other so that I could learn these how you prepare the blossoms. I had only fried them before my trip to San Marino last spring. Seeing them prepared in pasta was a surprise — and very delicious! I cannot wait for spring to return so that I can once again enjoy these treats. 🙂

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  24. John, I am too scared to grow zucchini. They grow like made here. I would have zucchini everywhere because I had missed the blossoms. Absolutely, once something is in your consciousness, you see it everywhere. I don’t know how it happens, but it sure does.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s the thing, Glenda. That’s all I’ve heard & read and the reason why I only planted one. Well not having room is another. I was certain that at least one of my neighbors would have zucchini plants to assist in the pollination. None grow zucchini. Kathryn said I’d need 3 and I can see how that would inundate me with zucchini. As I’ve mentioned in replies to others, I think I’ll just stick with buying blossoms from the farmers market. ((sigh))

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  25. I read a book years ago called “The $60. Tomato.” That’s what the author figured each tomato from his crop was worth after planting the garden, planting fences, fighting off different varieties of creatures, and so forth. It’s quite a funny read, and so understandable if you garden. I’m sorry about your one zucchini blossom!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s funny, Mimi. A neighbor and I have much the same discussion every spring. She loves stuffed peppers and each year plants peppers but their yield always disappoints. She has tried to grow these peppers in just about every corner of her yard and still no luck. I’ve told her to forget planting them and that I’d take her to the farmers market where she can buy as many as she likes but she’s as stubborn as I am. I bet she already knows where next year’s pepper plants will be planted. 🙂

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  26. So much great information here that I don’t know where to begin! Oh wait – yes, I do. Loved your story about the wee bunny that grew into a diabolical zucchini-blossom-stealing rabbit. That anecdote alone would make a great animated short.

    Also, this praise of pasta water is perfect: “In my kitchen, it’s better than duct tape.”

    About the recipe: yum! I had NO IDEA zucchini flowers could be used in this way. I have an aunt who grows oversized zucchini every year so I will forward this recipe to her. (She lives in a rabbit-free zone, although she has lots of stories about combating deer.)

    Plus, thanks for the tip about not using smoked meat. That is always a good thing to keep in mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Ruth. Apparently, we have an extremely fertile doe around here and she’s kept us gardeners fully supplied with wee bunnies this year. My nemesis used to be a squirrel but s/he has moved on to (ahem) greener pastures, I assume. The celebration was cur short when the first bunny appeared. It’s always something …
      I cannot tell you how many times a little pasta water has saved my dish. It’s really been a lifesaver.
      Like you, I’d never seen the blossoms prepared any way but stuffed and fried. I love ’em but don’t prepare them often because I don’t like to fry things very often. Now, though, seeing them prepared in pasta, well, i can have them as often as I like.I was like a kid in a candy store when I realized how many different ways the Italians served them.
      As for smoked bacon, I do love it. No doubt about it. THe problem is when using delicately flavored ingredients, like these blossoms, the smokiness will obliterate all other flavors. That’s when it’s non-smoked pork to the rescue! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, no you’re not, Jeff. I had thought that I could count on my neighbors’ gardens for pollinating my vine. After all, they all have gardens and they grow everything, or so I thought. As it tuned out, no one grows zucchini — but they ALL grow cucumbers. Generous people that they are, I was constantly on the receiving end of their harvests. In fact, since only one gardener appeared at my gate each day, I think they were working in cahoots! I was going to fend them off with the threat of zucchini but that plan didn’t come to pass. I’ve got the winter to come up with a counter attack. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  27. One of the unexpected bonus gifts of a seasonal zuke overdose (which would never upset me anyhow!)—when I learned that zucchini blossoms were edible, non-Italiana that I am, I was delighted and just cleaned them with their bases intact so I could stuff them with herbed couscous before steaming and serving them. No complaints! And, in my case, no arachnids. 😉 This dish of yours looks superb!
    xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Katheryn. Like you, if I’m going to stuff them, I’ll usually leave the bottom in place — but not all of the time. Here, if find it’s so much easier and quicker to just grab and pull everything all our at once. I don’t think it really matters to a pasta — just so long as they make it into the dish! 🙂

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  28. John – this made me laugh! The eight-legged behemoth! And the bunny with carpentry experience… it was probably a crow, right? I am hoping zucchini blossoms are still available this weekend at the market, although I know the chances are slim… this dish sounds fantastic! And, yes, you should go back to Italy to do more research for all of us… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Glad that you enjoyed this post, David. I’ve not seen many crows, if at all, around here much less in my yard. I think it was some sort of bug or maybe mice, since the fence would have prevented the ever-growing bunny access to the plant. I’ve been told I need 3 plants and I just don’t have the room. I’m certainly not pulling out a rose for some zucchini blossoms!!!! I’ll just buy them when needed at the farmers market. Between his fresh beans, peas, Seckel pears, and blossoms, this guy is my “must see” vendor at the market.
      I am working on returning to Italy. Right now, my preparations mostly involve buying lottery tickets but I’m still early in the process. I’ve yet to look into whether I qualify for a university grant or 2. 🙂

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      • Maybe you could be faculty for a university-sponsored food-related trip to Italy? (I am actually not kidding… I have seen this happen!)

        When we moved here, we decided not to grow veggies, although we have grown a lot of peppers. Too much water and, as you say, there are vendors at the market for that! I would hate to take away their business!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Along those lines … A friend dropped by recently and we hadn’t seen each other in some time. When I mentioned the book, he suggested I go back through my records and deduct all of my trips to Michigan as research for the book. As we chatted, you should have seen his eyes light up when I mentioned I’d been to Italy. “You know, John, you could deduct …”

          Liked by 1 person

  29. Darn…my squash plants are just about gone for the season. I had lots of squash blossoms earlier on and wanted to do something with them and never considered adding them to pasta. What a fabulous dish! It looks so good! Wish I had a big fork right now to stab the screen to see if I could get a bite.

    BTW – Know what you mean about once something it mentioned, it appears everywhere. However, boar is not something that comes up much in conversation and certainly not something I see on menu…yet! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Although I have access to them regularly at the farmers market, I didn’t buy them often because I only knew to stuff and fry them. Well, this last trip changed everything. Seeing them served in various pasta dishes really got my mind working. Now, I buy them often and use them in that night’s pasta.
      From what I understand, boar is becoming more common down South. I guess the wild boar population is exploding and impacting the farms. Some restaurants have started buying boar from the hunters and offering it on their menus. I doubt if they’ve affected the boars’ numbers yet but it may just be a matter of time. I just wish I knew one of those hunters!

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  30. Zucchini plants sure can be weeds sometimes, but at the same time, they are very tricky. I had the same problem many years ago. I had a co worker tell me she planted zucchini and none of hers produced any squash but a bunch of flowers. I told her I’d take the flowers but she had already pulled up the plants and trashed them! I was like nooooooooo!
    Typical food blogger reaction 😄
    This looks wonderful John. I’ll have to find a non pork sausage though or something.

    Aaah…the Mary Kay….what awful stuff. Made me break out.

    Nazneen x

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m sure your neighbor had no idea of their value but what a waste! That, for me, would be the optimum situation. All blossoms and no zucchini. I’d be in heaven.
      You could easily prepare this like a primavera, Nazneen, and replace the meat with fresh vegetable. I’ll be doing that next spring.
      As for Ms Kaye. I just remember the name and the Cadillacs. Mom relied upon the Avon Lady. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Up until this past trip to Italy, Nell, I knew of no other way to prepare them but to stuff and fry them. They are very good that way, to be sure. Having them prepared in various pasta dishes, though was totally knew to me and I enjoyed them all. Very much looking forward to next spring when the markets reopen. I hope you can find a place that carries them. You’ll love them!

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  31. I have grown many courgette plants in the hope that I could also harvest the flowers. I have never had a good enough crop all at the same time to be able to cook this dish. I have come to the conclusion that the flowers are best bought. Certainly less stress. Lovely recipe John as soon as I can get hold of some flowers I shall be trying it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Maria. I’ve a feeling, Maria, that this will be my last attempt, too. I’m lucky to be able to get them all season long at the farmers market. Why go through the hassle, especially if I have to plant as many as 3 plants in a garden that barely had room for 1?

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