Zucchini ‘Pappardelle’ With Asparagus, Avocado Salad & Arugula
Serves 4-6. Recipe is from “Everyday Easy” by Lorraine Pascale. Text copyright 2012 by Lorraine Pascale. Photographs copyright 2012 by Myles New. Excerpted by permission of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
1 (14-ounce) can of cannellini beans
Pinch of salt
9 ounces asparagus
1 perfectly ripe avocado
1 bag of wild arugula
Small handful of fresh mint
Small handful of fresh basil
Handful of toasted pine nuts (about 1 ounce)
1 ounce Parmesan cheese
1 small red chili or a pinch of dried chili flakes (optional)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Couple of squeezes or dabs of honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Put the kettle on to boil.
2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Seed and finely chop the chili (if using) and add to a mug or small bowl, or simply add the dried chili flakes. Finely grate the lemon zest in and squeeze in the juice. Add the oil and honey and season with salt and pepper. Whisk together with a fork.
3. Next, drain and rinse the cannellini beans, toss them through the dressing and set aside.
4. Pour the now-boiled water and a big pinch of salt into a medium saucepan and put on a high heat to bring the water back up to the boil. Trim the ends off the asparagus where they look dried out and add the spears to the water to cook for 4 minutes.
5. Using a peeler, take a strip off the length of a zucchini to look like pappardelle (broad, flat pasta noodles). Keep going in the same place until you have peeled away half of the zucchini, then flip it over and do the same with the other side. You now don’t need the bit that is left when you’ve peeled away all you can, but you could save it for use in a soup or stir-fry. Repeat with the remaining zucchini.
6. Once the asparagus is just tender, remove it from the water with a slotted spoon and rinse under cold running water for a minute or so until cool. Then set aside. Now add the zucchini “pappardelle” to the boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, quarter, pit and peel the avocado. Cut it lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick slices, drizzle with oil (so they don’t go brown) and set aside.
8. Once the zucchini are just tender, drain them in the colander and rinse under cold running water until cool. Drain well and toss a drizzle of oil through to stop them from sticking together.
9. Now to assemble: Put the arugula onto a large serving platter. Scatter the zucchini and asparagus over. Rip the leaves from the mint and basil stalks and sprinkle them over with the pine nuts. Give everything a little toss about with your hands and then arrange the avocado on top. Spoon the cannellini beans and dressing over and then shave the Parmesan on top using the peeler and serve.