I tried another Plenty pasta dish tonight: Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad (pg. 254). A simple recipe, perfect for a pasta dinner on the lighter side, and easy to make. The ingredients were, overall, simple. I already had the capers (having bought a jar for a previous recipe and finding them a great investment for this project!). I looked and looked for the strozzapreti pasta, but, like the pappardelle, could not find it anywhere. I instead bought the closet thing I could find: casarecce.
This pasta looked identical to the picture in the book, which made me wonder…so I did some research. Apparently, they are almost the same. Casarecce is a bit longer than strozzapreti, but have the same shape. So, I think I found a pretty good substitute! The other “toughy” was the buffalo mozzarella. I simply could not find it. The only buffalo cheese any of the local grocery stores had was buffalo cheddar, which I knew would not do, so I went with just regular, plain old mozz.
Then I started cooking. Overall, the whole process took about an hour, and that was largely because I had to shell the edamame. I realize that I could have found pre-shelled edamame pretty easily, but I didn’t even look…I’m so used to buying it in the shell.
I also realized, as I was frying up the zucchini, that “cut into 1/4-inch-thick-slices” meant into 1/4-inch-thick-round-slices, like coins…oops! I cut them into long slices. Oh well, still tastes the same. I also may have crowded them a bit in the pan (something Chef warned NOT to do). Another oops. But they still got the nice golden brown color that was the goal. So I think they turned out alright.
Then, after everything was cooked and the sauce was mixed (a light basil sauce, like a pesto), I tried it out. It was good, but, in all honesty, a little bland. The lemon zest really came through, which was great, but I found myself adding quite a bit of pepper after my first bite. I give this 3 stars, beacuse it was good, but it just needed a bit more flavor for me. I agree with Chef that it would be “ideal picnic garb,” as its light (especially for a pasta dish) and fresh, but I think a touch more spice was needed 😉