Here is another classic Sicilian dish that you can throw together with a few seasonal ingredients and walk away with a satisfying meal, that’s tasty and fresh. This time of year the mint should be plentiful from your garden and the young zucchini is ripe for the picking. If you don’t grow this yourself, farmers markets and grocery stores have all these ingredients fresh this time of year. My son Joseph was surprised that mint would taste this good in a pasta dish. He learned what many Sicilians have known for generations. Don’t be afraid to try this dish. You will be surprised at how great it taste as well.
Summer is no time to spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals when the weather outside is so inviting. You can whip this up in minuets and sit on your patio sipping a glass of vino and enjoying this macaroni. Mint is a staple in my kitchen during the summer. Besides being a great ingredient for making a Mojito, I use it in everything from side dishes to dessert. What’s a Mojito you ask? I’m glad you asked. It’s a Cuban cocktail made with fresh mint, white rum, cane sugar, lime juice and seltzer (or 7-UP, depending on how sweet you like it). It’s a great way of using up all that mint over growing in my garden, and relaxing for the evening. Here is the formula: In a tall High Ball glass(remember those?) add about 5 mint leaves, the juice of 1/2 lime and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Mull it all together till it’s all mashed up. Add a couple of ounces of light rum and a splash of seltzer. Fill the glass with ice and enjoy. Add more sugar or 7-UP instead of seltzer if you like it sweeter.
Mint. It’s so versatile.
Macaroni with Zucchini and Mint
- 3-4 small zucchini sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
- Fresh mint leaves, chopped, about 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup regular olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 lb macaroni
Slice the zucchini into 1/8 inch thick rounds. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large frying pan. Add the zucchini and cook till slightly browned on both sides and tender.
Cook the zucchini in batches so they are in a single layer in the pan. Add the garlic to the oil and cook a couple of minuets. Do not brown the garlic.
Return all the zucchini to the pan and remove from the heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook the macaroni till desired tenderness.
Drain the macaroni and add to the zucchini. Add the chopped mint and 1/4 cup of grated cheese. Toss to coat and serve with extra cheese.