Aglio Olio with Fiori Di Zucca
Chef Rocco Dispirito with the foods he grew up eating
by Rocco Dispirito
Serves 4 as first course
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil • 3 large cloves garlic • 5 zucchini flowers • 1 pinch crushed pepper • 1/2 bunch chopped parsley • Salt and black pepper • 1 lb pasta
Put pasta water (with a few pinches of salt) on medium-high heat and cover.
Heat olive oil over low flame in a skillet. Crush garlic with the side of a knife (the bigger, the easier), add garlic to oil and sauté until soft and golden brown.
Meanwhile, remove the stamen from the zucchini flowers (inside the petals).
Add flowers (whole) to garlic in skillet. Let flowers wilt. They will shrink in size as they flavor the oil, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti.
Toss zucchini flowers, garlic, oil with spaghetti, chopped parsley, a pinch of crushed red chili flakes, salt and pepper (all to taste). Incorporate a splash of pasta water or olive oil if the pasta seems under-lubricated. The pasta should be coated in sauce, but not swimming in oil!
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