Everytime I make this dish (and it’s one of the few repeats) I think, Wow—why don’t we eat pasta more often?? You might think as a vegetarian, my options are so limited. But my summer at Azafran Cafe exposed me to the variety of (fabulously creative, ethnic and exotic) meatless meals beyond pasta. Where do you think I ever heard of zucchini fritters?
This meal is inspired from one of my weekly go-to cookbooks: 200 FOUR-INGREDIENT RECIPES by JOANNA FARROW. This is super straightforward (in case you were overwhelmed by the many ingredients and sidedishes in yesterday’s meal), less than 30 minutes, and no technique (or fancy tools) required.
All you need for
Tagliatelle with Vegetable Ribbons
4 tbsp. garlic oil
3 large zucchini
3 large carrots
9 oz. egg tagliatelle (or wide egg noodles)
Let’s get started on the garlic oil. All you need: fresh garlic and olive oil. You have two options here…
If you just decided to make this dish and have 5 minutes to whip together garlic oil:
Slice 3 cloves of garlic and combine with 1/2 cup olive oil. Heat gently until bubbling, then pour into a heatproof bowl. Cover and leave in a cool place overnight—be sure to strain out the garlic the next day. (These measurements don’t need to be followed too closely…)
If you need garlic oil a few hours from now:
Okay, now it’s apparent that garlic oil is super, super easy to make. You can also add a handful of rosemary sprigs into the oil to flavor it along with the garlic. Just be certain to strain the garlic and herbs from the oil the next day.
Unlike peeling the carrots and zucchini over the sink and tossing the peelings, you want every beautiful ribbon for your egg noodles. The lovely thing about this dish (beyond the flavor) is you don’t need to try hard to make it a beautiful dish. You don’t even have to peel with precision.
While you’re peeling the veggies, bring a large pan of (very) salted water to a boil. Boil the veggies for 30 seconds. Really! Only 30! The ribbons will cook a bit further when you toss them with hot pasta. I overcook them every time forgetting this…
If you can, fish out the ribbons with a small strainer or tongs—boiling vegetables is not an ideal way of cooking. Many of the nutrients (especially the vitamins and minerals) seep out into the boiling water. This is why boiling the egg noodles in the same veggie water (you guessed it: the next step) savors a bit of the good stuff.
Once you cook the noodles according to the instructions, drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add the vegetable ribbons, garlic flavored oil, and any salt or pepper you desire. Toss over medium heat until the veggies are glistening with oil. Gobble up with haste (this will not prove challenging).
I realized this time around that it’s such an appealing dish because it tastes so homey—the carrot and egg noodles with subtle garlic remind me of the comforting flavors in a homemade soup. I also added some chopped chives, a nice oniony addition.
What if you have leftover garlic oil? You can, of course, make Lindsey’s Best Chicken to accompany your green and orange ribbons. It’s so easy it cracks me up that Andrew likes it so much—almost two years of 12-ingredient marinades and all these fancy attempts. I’m never straying again…
Here’s my silly little marinade that keeps the hubby smiling:
olive oil (enough to coat the chicken)
3-5 fresh garlic cloves, crushed
a generous sprinkling of dried oregano
a pinch of salt and lots of fresh ground black pepper
Roast at 400F. Chicken tenderloins take only about 8 minutes!
P.S. I crumbled some feta over the leftover pasta. It is awesome. Pine nuts next time, too.