Penne with Fried Zucchini Blossoms & Heirloom Tomatoes

Take advantage of fresh seasonal produce with this delicious zucchini pasta recipe.

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This Penne pasta recipe with fresh zucchini, zucchini blossoms and heirloom tomatoes comes from our very own Chef Lorenzo Boni! Summer is the season for tasty, wonderful summer veggies to take full advantage of in the kitchen. For this recipe, zucchinis are picked when they are still small so that there is a lot more flavor. With the heirloom tomatoes, a variety of colors are chosen when they are ripe, but still firm. When choosing zucchini blossoms, they have to be fresh, and in full bloom for maximum flavor. When adding zucchini blossoms to a recipe, adding them at the very end of the cooking process preserves their integrity. To have some additional fun with this recipe, Chef Lorenzo decided to garnish the pasta with a deep fried crispy zucchini blossom. Click this link to see the video reel on our Barilla US Instagram channel. Buon appetito!

Ingredients 8 Servings

Ingredients for the Pasta:

  • 1 box Barilla® Penne pasta
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 pound small zucchini, sliced in rondels as thin as possible
  • 3 medium size heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 8 deep fried zucchini blossoms
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Ingredients for deep fried zucchini blossoms:

  • 7 ounces AP (all purpose) flour
  • 20 zucchini blossoms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/3 cup sparkling water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  •  Sea salt and black pepper to taste
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  • Preparation for the Pasta (if making fried zucchini blossoms, make those first):

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil, cook pasta according to package directions.

  • Meanwhile in a skillet sauté onion with 3 tablespoons olive oil for several minutes, until translucent and cooked through.

  • Add zucchini, salt and pepper and braise over medium heat until soft and slightly browned, about 15 minutes.

  • Add tomatoes, freshly drained pasta reserving ½ pasta cup cooking water.

  • Turn off heat, finish with zucchini blossoms, cheese and remaining olive oil.

  • Serve garnished with a deep-fried zucchini blossom (recipe below) and basil leaves.

  • Preparation for the deep fried zucchini blossoms:

    Mix flour to salt, pepper and egg using a whisk, little by little add sparkling water to make a creamy, coating mixture. Stir in olive oil.

  • Dip zucchini blossoms in coating mixture and deep fry immediately.

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