Picture taken from my kitchen window of the pizzicheria across the street!
It is a family run business - Pasquale, his wife Ida and their daughter - whose name I cannot remember at the moment!
Getting back to us.. so I stopped in at about noon, ordered my black bread for tomorrow and checked out what there was in the way of produce. He had some baby zucchini with the flowers still attached and some fresh Tropea onions so I decided to make pasta with zucchini and Tropea onions. But something was missing... I looked at what he had in the way of cured meats.. and he had some little fresh sausages, so I bought 3 to add some flavor to the dish.
When I got home I looked in my pasta drawer and saw I had some "schiaffoni" or large rigatoni.. and my menu was decided!
So, I put the pot of water on to boil and started with the sausage. It was a little fatty and since we are all watching our cholesterol I decided to "degrease" it by taking it out of the casing and breaking it up in the frying pan with about a 1/4 cup of water.
I cooked it over med/low heat to render the fat and then (yes I really do this) drained it in a colander and rinsed it with hot running water for a few seconds to get rid of as much fat as possible.
As the sausage was cooking I cleaned my vegetables and started preparing them for the pan.
First I cut the onions in to 1/4" slices,
then I thinly sliced the zucchini,
and finally I coarsely chopped the flowers.
By now the water wasbe boiling. So I put thye pasta in to cook. These are nice big, fat macaroni so they take a good 10 to 13 minutes to cook until they are "al dente"
At this point, the fat was rendered from the sausage, so I drained the fat off, rinsed the sausage and put it back into the pan.
I added about 2T of olive oil and started sautéing the vegetables in the same order in which I had cut them.
Onions first because they take a longer to cook,
followed by the flowers, as soon as I stirred them in I turned off the heat. You can also add some chopped parsley, but I wanted the delicate flavor of the flowers to come through, so no parsley! If you can't find zucchini with the flowers still on, go ahead and add some freshly chopped parsley in their place.
When your pasta is cooked the way you like it, drain it and add it to the pan with the cooked condiment. Far "saltare" the pasta so that all of the "schiaffoni" are seasoned. We made a short video to demonstrate how to "far saltare" your pasta in the fry pan like the best professional Italian cooks.. we are not professional videographers... but we do our best! Don't mind the dialogue! hahaha I'ts just 6 seconds long but it's enough to give you the idea! If you are afraid your pasta might end up all over the stove or on the floor, go ahead and toss it around with a wooden spoon!
And there you have it! We sat down to eat at 12:50.. consider that in between things I also made a quick tomato sauce "sciuè sciuè" (that would be neapoliton for really quick) for my husband who is not crazy about zucchini cooked like this!
Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.. and as Julia Child would have said, had she spoken Italian.. BUON APPETITO!