Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bowties with Asiago, Mascarpone, & Zucchini Blossoms

I finally cooked something in our tiny, barely stocked hotel kitchen!  Besides toast.  (We had to buy our own toaster... lol.)  After our trip to Asiago , I wanted to use up the Mascarpone and Asiago cheese we brought back.  This dish was perfect for that.  We picked up some Asiago Speck (like Prosciutto), too.  We visited a local grocery store where I got the mini bowties, and then I searched for asparagus, so I could make this old fave.   The store didn't have any asparagus, so instead, I got tiny, finger-sized zucchinis with the blossom still attached!!  They were SO cute and cheap; it was only 50-something Euro cents for 6-7 of them.  

I made the pasta with the above ingredients and it was SO good and flavorful, and everything I used was local, made in this region of Italy or a nearby.  Except the garlic, for some reason, which was from Spain. (Spain, I still love you.)  I love being able to use local ingredients like this- it was harder to do this when I lived in the Azores.  
I'll definitely make this dish again, with the changes and the fresh mascarpone & Asiago.  We get the keys to our house today, but won't move in right away.  In a few weeks though, I hope to be able to cook from my own kitchen!!  

Bowties with Asiago, Mascarpone, & Zucchini Blossoms
adapted from here

1/2lb mini bowtie pasta
1/2 cup pasta water, reserved
2T unsalted butter
1T extra virgin olive oil
1 large fresh garlic clove, minced
4-5 ounces Asiago speck or Prosciutto, coarsely chopped
1/2lb tiny zucchini with flowers attached, gently washed, dried, and chopped
1/2 cup (about 4oz) mascarpone cheese
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pine nuts, shelled pistachios, or a mix (toast first, if desired)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup Asiago (medium to old-aged; I used 6 months aged) cheese, shredded
fresh grape tomatoes, optional

1.  In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente (about 7-10 minutes). Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.

2.  Saute garlic, for 1 minute, in melted butter and oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add Asiago speck or Prosciutto and chopped zucchini and chopped zucchini flowers and sauté over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, until zucchini is crisp-tender. Do not overcook.

3.  Reduce heat to medium and add pasta and mascarpone; toss until cheese melts and coats pasta; slowly add reserved pasta water, as needed, to moisten (I used just a few tablespoons).

4.  Remove from heat and add toasted nuts. Toss with Asiago cheese and fresh basil. Season with salt & pepper (you may not need any additional salt). Top with fresh grape tomatoes, if desired.  Serve immediately.
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Unknown said...

Looks fabulous. I have never use zucchini flowers but want to give them a try.

What a Dish! said...

Thanks! You should try them sometime- they're fun.