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Pasta and Fried Zucchini Salad

Updated: May 27, 2020

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman whom adapted, from Plenty cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients, Serves 4:

  1. 2/3 cup sunflower or safflower oil, or any type of oil you like for deep-frying

  2. 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

  3. Salt

  4. 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  5. 3/4 cup frozen edamame or peas, fresh or frozen

  6. 2 cups basil leaves, coarsely chopped

  7. 1/4 cup parsley leaves

  8. 1/3 cup olive oil

  9. Freshly ground black pepper

  10. 9 ounces strozzapreti or penne pasta

  11. Zest of 1 lemon

  12. 1 1/2 tablespoons capers (or more to taste; my husband votes for 2)

  13. 7 ounces buffalo mozzarella, torn into chunks


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

While you’re waiting, in a medium saucepan or skillet, heat sunflower oil over medium-high heat. Fry zucchini slices [a tip: slice zucchini in advance and add some salt to let some of the water dry up - this makes it less soggy by the time you are done with this recipe] in batches for about 3 to 4 minutes, flipping once, until golden on both sides. If zucchini isn’t browning right away, bump up the heat until it does in just a few minutes. Drain in colander, shaking with a couple pinches of salt, then transfer to a large bowl and pour vinegar on top. Set aside.

In the hot water, cook edamame for 3 minutes, frozen peas for 3 to 4 minutes, or fresh peas for 1 to 2 minutes (to taste). Drain and run cool water over until lukewarm. Set aside to dry.

Leave pot boiling, then cook pasta until al dente in it. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Combine half of basil and all of the parsley and olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.

Transfer pasta back to empty pot. Add fried zucchini and any juices, basil-parsley oil, edamame or peas, lemon zest, capers and mozzarella. Stir gently together, then season generously with salt and pepper. Right before you serve it, stir in remaining basil leaves.

Assembled dish keeps in the fridge for at least a day.

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