Squash Blossom Orecchiette with Aged Sheep’s Cheese and Red Chile
“If you are ever fortunate enough to have an abundance of squash blossoms at your fingertips, make this pasta,” says Amy Chaplin. “It’s like a bowl of sunshine that melts in your mouth.” Be sure to grate your zucchini and cheese on the largest hole of your box grater, and carefully taste your fresh chile for heat—chilies’ heat can vary considerably, so you may want to omit the dried flakes. This recipe comes from At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen, winner of the 2015 Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian Book Award.
From At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin, © 2014 by Amy Chaplin. Photographs © 2014 by Johnny Miller. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications Inc., Boston, MA. roostbooks.com
- Sea salt
- 8 ounces whole-wheat orecchiette
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced red chile (about 1 large)
- 3 medium golden zucchinis, grated (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup torn basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes, optional
- 8 ounces squash blossoms, cut in 3/4-inch slices (about 45 blossoms)
- 1/2 cup grated aged sheep cheese, plus more to garnish
Fill a large pot with filtered water, add a generous pinch of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add pasta, and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until al dente. Meanwhile, make sauce.
Warm olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chile; sauté for 2 minutes or until garlic is golden. Stir in zucchini and a pinch of salt; sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until softened and slightly reduced. Add basil and chile flakes (if using), and cook for another minute. Stir in squash blossoms, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft and completely wilted.
Drain cooked pasta, reserving ¼ cup cooking liquid. Stir drained pasta and reserved cooking liquid into squash blossom mixture. Remove from heat, add cheese, briefly stir, and season to taste. Divide pasta among bowls and garnish with extra cheese.