I couldn’t pass up on that summer zucchini or beautiful squash blossoms, so I made some pasta. Pasta and zucchini noodles.
I’ll be honest, I don’t love the idea of eating zucchini noodles instead of pasta. Pasta is pasta. Zoodles are zoodles. Buuut, I love each of them both separately or combined, as they are in this dish. I found the perfect pasta to match my favorite zucchini noodle shape. It’s called pici. It’s like extra thick, chewy spaghetti and I love it. It might be a little tough to find though, so of course feel free to substitute it with regular or thick spaghetti.
Now lets talk about those squash blossoms. Typically I see them stuffed with ricotta and fried, which is amazing. I’d love to do a variation on that next year, but back to the point. So I decided to do something different with these beauties. I sliced them into individual petals and deep fried them, no batter or nothing. What could be wrong with that. The squash blossoms take on this beautiful curvy shape and add a salty, crisp bite to the top of the pasta. BEST. IDEA. EVER. They are so good, you’ll want to make a few extra to snack on.
Zucchini noodles might be a common sub for pasta, but I like them with pasta too! Especially when they’re topped off with crispy, fried squash blossoms.
- 4 squash blossoms (2 is sufficient for the pasta, but you’ll want extra for snacking)
- 4oz pici pasta or thick spaghetti
- ½ medium zucchini, spiralized the size of the pasta
- ½ medium golden zucchini, spiralized the size of the pasta
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese (omit if vegan)
- Zest of half a lemon
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- Boil water: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt. It should taste like the sea.
- Heat oil: As water is warming, heat 1-2 inches of light olive oil or vegetable oil in a small sauce pot to approximately 350°F. Line a large plate with paper towels.
- Prep blossoms: Make a slit down the side of the squash blossoms to open them up. Remove the center (stima/style/ovary area) and discard. Remove and discard the stem. Cut into individual (5-6) petals.
- Fry blossoms: Add a few petals to the hot oil and fry for about 1 minute total, flipping occasionally. When crisp, transfer to paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Fry in batches.
- Cook pasta: Add pasta to boiling salted water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain.
- Cook zucchini: After the pasta starts cooking, warm a large, nonstick pan over medium heat. Add oil, followed by the zucchini. Cook, tossing occasionally, until tender with a slight bite, about 2-3 minutes. Add a couple tablespoons of pasta cooking water as the zucchini cooks to help them steam. Season with salt and pepper.
- Finish pasta: Add the drained pasta to the zucchini. Toss to combine. Stir in parmigiano, lemon zest and lemon juice. Taste for seasoning.
- Serve: Place pasta in serving bowls and top with the fried squash blossoms. Drizzle over finishing oil and sprinkle cheese on top, if desired. Enjoy.
- Category: Pasta
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 1/2 pasta
- Calories: 482
- Sugar: 1.7 g
- Sodium: 204.8 mg
- Fat: 29.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 6.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 38.5 g
- Fiber: 1.9 g
- Protein: 17.8 g