Zucchini, known for its delicate flavor and tender texture, takes center stage in this dish. The zucchini flowers, with their vibrant colors and delicate petals, lend an elegant touch that elevates the dish to new heights. By employing the traditional Italian technique of “mantecatura,” we coax out the natural creaminess of the zucchini and parmesan cheese, creating a luxurious sauce that coats every strand of spaghetti without the use of actual cream.
- Garlic, thinly sliced
- Olive oil
- Zucchini diced in small cubes
- Zucchini flowers
- Colorful flowers for garnish (optional)
- Start cooking the spaghetti in salted boiling water
- Meanwhile sauté the zucchini in a pan with oil on medium-high heat. Once cooked, set aside the zucchini.
- In the same pan, add a splash more of olive oil and cook on medium-low heat the garlic, a lemon peel, a branch of thyme and the zucchini flowers.
- Before the garlic turns golden, add the zucchini and the slightly under-cooked spaghetti along with some pasta cooking water.
- Grate in a generous amount of parmesan cheese and a few drops of lemon juice. Get ready for the process of mantecatura*. Add some more pasta water if necessary and cook on low heat until the pasta water mixture forms a cream like consistency that coats the spaghetti.
- Serve with a few pieces of burrata and garnish with some purple-blue flowers (like lavender) to bring out the orange in the zucchini flowers.
* Mantecatura: the Italian word the technique often used in risottos or pasta dishes for getting a homogeneous, smooth and creamy mixture by adding fats or cooking water at the end of cooking process.