Courgette (Zucchini) Blossom and Caramelised Onion Pasta: Taste of Spring

I love spring not just for the flowers and the leaves on the trees, but for the food it brings: strawberries, asparagus and courgette/zucchini blossoms…  Courgette (or zucchini as they are known in the US) blossoms are sometimes fried in Italian kitchens, and are sometimes paired with pasta to make a very delicate sauce.  I’d heard about my great grandmother (who was from Italy) making fried zucchini blossoms, but I hadn’t tried them until I stumbled across them in a farmer’s market a few years ago.  They go well with pasta, but the flavour is delicate so be careful not to overwhelm.  I normally saute them in a little margarine or olive oil and then serve with fresh basil, vegan parmesan, and pasta, but I tried them recently with caramelised onion.  It was a great addition, but can easily overwhelm the courgette blossoms, so I’d go easy on the onions (or leave them out if preferred).

Courgette Blossom and Caramelised Onion Pasta

Ingredients

  • 500 g/1 lb farfalle or penne, cooked and drained
  • 1 onion, cut into thin strips and caramelised (see guide on caramelising onions here)
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine, or 2-3 tsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 zucchini blossoms cut into strips, and stim and stamen removed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herb mix, optional
  • 2-3 tsp vegan parmesan, optional

Instructions

  1. Prepare caramelised onions and set aside.
  2. Over low heat, melt butter.  Once melted, add the zucchini blossoms, fresh basil and the herb mix, and cook 5-7 minutes until the blossoms and basil wilt.  While cooking, prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package.
  3. Once the blossoms and the basil have wilted and the flavours infused in the butter, remove from heat.  Pour the mixture over the pasta, adding a few sprinklings of vegan parmesan and the caramelised onions, and mix.  Serve with more vegan parmesan on top, if desired.

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