Sunday, June 29, 2014

Zucchini Cream Sauce with Marjoram

Let me preface this entry by saying that this is the first recipe I ever wrote, when I was 19 years old. As far as I can tell there is no dish exactly like it. It is surprising how fabulous slightly bitter and softly gritty zucchini squash tastes when combined with sweet caramelized onions and rich cream. Cook the squash long enough to melt into the sauce and sweat its sweet starch in and they'll coat the pasta and pack every bite with flavor. Earthy, slightly sweet marjoram (a member of the oregano family) really lift the dish from merely rich to complex and absolutely crave-able. Who knows, you may even make a zucchini convert with this sauce. I served it on freshly made fettuccine, but feel free to use the pasta of your choice. Also, this is a pasta that really pairs well with freshly grated parmesan, so don't skimp.

Herbed Zucchini Cream Sauce

Makes enough to cover 1 lb to 1.5 lbs pasta

3 large yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced thinly
3 large zucchini squash, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced thinly
1/2 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
4 large sprigs marjoram, leaves removed and stems discarded
1 large shallot, minced
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons butter
1/4 Teaspoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons sherry
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

1. Add olive oil to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, then butter and when butter is melted add onion, shallots and a very small pinch of salt. Cook until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Add zucchini and yellow squash, marjoram, black pepper and sherry and saute until squash practically dissolves, about 25 - 30 minutes. You may want to turn down the heat a little if you notice the veggies or onions sticking too much to the bottom.
3. Add in cream and turn heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until cream has absorbed the flavors and is no longer white, about 5 minutes.
4. Toss with prepared pasta and about 1/3 cup pasta cooking water. Top with freshly grated parmesan and garnish with a small sprig of marjoram.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I welcome your feedback!

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