Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pasta a la Gwyneth

As we all bounce back from a seemingly endless bout of illness, I have an urge to purify everything in our lives.  If I could, I'd check us all into some sort of spa/monastery type of place, where we would sip veggie soups, breathe deeply, and get deep tissue massages until last week was a distant memory.  That not being possible, my next best option is cooking clean, healthy foods for us that help nourish our depleted systems.  And who better represents all things gorgeous and healthy than that blond goddess, Mrs. Coldplay herself, Gwyneth.
 Photo: Food & Wine
Laugh if you must, I love my Gwyneth.  I love her laid-back, Brit/NYC hybrid mama style.  I love that she's a macrobiotic health nut who also road trips through Spain with Mario Batali, eating every piece of cured pork in sight.  I love GOOP.  And I love her healthy glow in the photo above, which stands in stark contrast to the pasty, pale, wan look I'm sporting right now after a New England winter and Flu Fest 2011.  She has a new cookbook coming out, and a feature in Food & Wine this month.  One of my favorite gals in one of my favorite mags?  Certainly, I must cook every recipe.

We kicked off my Gwynie-themed menus last night with her Fried Zucchini Spaghetti.  It delivered exactly what I was looking for: clean, light flavors that were easy on our tender tummies, but with enough flavor and oomph to make us feel like we're finally back on Real Food after several evenings of toast for dinner.  The recipe is definitely a keeper: inexpensive and easy to prepare, it would also be great kid food if I didn't have the only child in America who won't eat pasta.   And gardening friends, tag this recipe for summer, when it will be a great way to use all of your zukes (which I understand tend to grow like wildfire).  Gwyneth, is there anything you can't do?
Fried Zucchini Spaghetti
from Food & Wine, April 2011  
1 pound small zucchini, very thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound spaghetti
1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper
Lemon wedges, for serving  
1) In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the flour and a pinch of salt. In a very large skillet, heat half of the oil until shimmering. Add half of the zucchini and fry over high heat, turning once or twice, until browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the zucchini to a paper towel–lined wire rack and season with salt. Repeat with the remaining oil and zucchini.
2) Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with the 1 cup of cheese, the basil and a generous pinch of pepper. Add the reserved pasta water a little at a time, tossing well to coat. Transfer the pasta to a bowl and top with the crispy zucchini. Serve right away with lemon wedges and additional cheese.
 Enjoy in good health!


  1. Who doesn't love Gwyneth?! Glad you are feeling better, SMJ!

  2. Hello Mama, I was browsing your blog while my toddler napped at a ridiculously late time in the day (5.05pm), and simultaneously wondering what on earth to cook for dinner, and voila I found this post, now I know what to cook, and even better I have all of the ingredients. (we call them courgettes over here in the UK thought ;)

  3. okay, first of all, LOVE the word courgettes. and don't thank me, thank our girl gwyn. hope the recipe is a resounding success, and thank you so much for reading!

    and thank you too, ang :)