Save this recipe for later?
If you want to save this recipe for later, you can print it, bookmark this page or save it to Pinterest.
This creamy and delicate pasta with zucchini flowers is bound to become a favourite summer dish.
- 320 g garganelli pasta (paglia e fieno) or other short ridged pasta like rigatoni or penne rigate
- 16 zucchini flowers with young zucchini attached
- 4 zucchini if not attached to flowers (medium sized)
- 1 sachet saffron or 1/2 tsp saffron threads
- 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
- 100 g cooked ham (about 3 thick slices) cut into cubes
- 200 ml heavy cream
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 50 g Parmesan or grana grated
- 1 handful fresh parsley chopped
- salt for pasta and to taste
- black pepper to taste
If you are using saffron threads put them in a glass with a little warm water and leave to infuse.
Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add salt and bring to the boil again. Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet. Before draining it, save a cup of the cooking water.
You can make the sauce while you are waiting for the water to boil for the pasta or you can make it first. Peel and chop the onion finely. Cut the cooked ham into small cubes. Wash and chop the parsley
If attached to the flowers cut off the zucchini, wash them and cut into small chunks. Clean the zucchini flowers by removing the pistil or stamen from the centre and washing them carefully. These flowers are delicate. Wash them just before using to retain their freshness. You can leave the flowers whole or cut into strips. ( I cut some into strips and left a couple whole)
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan or skillet that’s big enough to fit the in pasta later. Add the chopped onion and cook over a low heat until it softens slightly and then add the zucchini. Add salt and pepper and let the zucchini cook until they become golden.
Once the zucchini are ready, add the ham and brown it for at least a minute. Then add the saffron water or sachet. Mix well and add the zucchini flowers and stir them into the sauce. Finally add the cream mix again and cook over a low flame for a couple of minutes.
Add the drained pasta to the pan and mix it well with the sauce. If you like you can add a handful of grated cheese to thicken the sauce. Or if the sauce seems dry, add a little of the saved pasta cooking water.
Serve immediately sprinkled with chopped parsley and more grated cheese if required.
You can make this recipe with other kinds of short pasta. Ridged pasta is better. For vegetarians just leave out the ham.
I had some leftovers from this dish, so the next day I baked them with some butter and grated cheese. Very good!
Pin for Later