Born to impress: pasta with zucchini and bacon in an unusual shell!

Date maggio 10, 2011

Every now and then, during a train or bus trip, when I am listening to the music with half-open eyes and the landscape looses its contours, I let my thoughts go and begin to dream. I do love dreaming, I’ve always done it since I can remember, dramatizing stories and plots, depicting daily life scenes in bright colours.

Dreams are sometimes an escape route from a reality that doesn’t suit you, sometimes an incentive to transform that very reality in a life you’d rather live. In my daydreams I love to surprise: in everyday life I am the one that can be described as the girl next door. Never too much over the top, never colours too flashy. I do not wear high heels, because I’d stumble and fall disastrously to the ground after two meters.

I can not speak out or impose myself into a group, I often find myself nodding to point out my ideas. In my mind I build impressive speeches that sometimes leave me speechless, but then in my daily life I can never be so incisive and direct.

That’s why in my dreams I love to impress and write an imaginative screenplay in which I can make turn that boy that usually doesn’t even see me, I can walk on beautiful high-heel red candy shoes, sing in a karaoke bar with a mighty Aretha Franklin’s voice, sinuously dance in a disco and give to those who deserve it a piece of mind.

Cooking is just like daydreaming: you dramatize another likely reality in which you can control the ingredients and most often even the result. The way I cook reflects who I am, it is a compromise between my being the girl next door and my desire to surprise that breaks out in my dreams… just like today’s pasta with zucchini.

What could be more simple than a dish of pasta with zucchini and bacon? This is the everyday Juls, good but not striking special. Then I half-close my eyes and begin to embroider on the reality to impress. With a pinch of magic the everyday pasta changes, pulls out a soul queen voice and wears a flowing red dress: it becomes a tasty filling of a soft and delicate shell. These are the harmonic notes of a dish created to impress, with a reassuring home-made feeling.

PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI AND BACON IN A ZUCCHINI SHELL

Ingredients – Serve 2:

  • 4 round zucchini
  • 6 baby zucchini, small
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 200 g sweet bacon, diced
  • 120 g short pasta
  • 100 g medium mature pecorino cheese, diced
  • 4 tablespoons of mature pecorino cheese
  • some fresh oregano leaves

Directions

  1. Empty the four round zucchini with a tablespoon and steam them in a pressure cooker for 7 minutes. They should be al dente, not fully cooked.
  2. Slice thinly the baby zucchini and sauté them in a large pan over medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil, a clove of garlic and 200 g of sweet bacon. Stir often with a wooden spoon to prevent the zucchini from sticking. If they get too dry add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. Cook for about 15 minutes.
  3. Cook the pasta al dente according to the packaging directions and drain.
  4. Toss the pasta with the sautéed zucchini and bacon, pecorino cheese cubes and a few leaves of fresh oregano.
  5. Fill the steamed round zucchini with the seasoned pasta, sprinkle them with the grated pecorino cheese and drizzle with some olive oil.
  6. Grill them in a preheated oven at 200°C for about 10 minutes until golden and serve them as an unusual and tasty first course.

I just want to stress you with two last things:

  1. I’m hosting Meeta’s May Monthly Mingle. The theme I chose is Fresh Pasta. Roll up your sleeves and mingle with us!
  2. You have time until Friday to leave a comment on my post How to feel like a princess with a very low budget where you can tell me your favourite low cost tips to plunge into a fairy tale. Surprise me! There’s a tiny giveaway for you!

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12 Responses to “Born to impress: pasta with zucchini and bacon in an unusual shell!”

  1. Rosa said:

    Lovely presentation! Impressive, indeed.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. The Food Hunter said:

    awesome presentation.

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  3. Sari said:

    I’m definitely impressed! Your kitchen skills are very impressive, and whenever I see your creations I regret that I don’t live closer! Actually it’s not just your kitchen that makes me feel like this. It’s also you, Juls that I know, without red high heel shoes. Juls, who is the most lovely and kind person I’ve ever met! Have a lovely day my Italian sister! :)

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  4. bianca said:

    Zucchini, Bacon and Pasta- a few of my favorites all in one dish; and with a lovely surprise presentation! Nice:)

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  5. Terris@Freeeatsfood said:

    What a beautiful dream you had when you were inspired to create this! Wonderful recipe and it is so pretty to look at.

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  6. Maria @ Scandifoodie said:

    I love this idea of presenting the dish in a zucchini shell! This sounds and looks amazing Juls!

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  7. Joyti said:

    What a beautiful piece. I too am a dreamer, and a bit shy and not so good in a crowd…
    And the dish is equally beautiful, what lovely presentation!

    [Rispondi]

  8. Chris's Gourmet Fashionc said:

    Well I am sure that there are many guys who would just love to be living next door to you – your cooking shows you up as a true artist at heart!

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  9. PolaM said:

    Great way of transforming a simple dish into a great dish fit for any guest!

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  10. Tamara said:

    Great photos and recipe. I cook zucchini often, usually stuff it with ground meat, but this version is super delicious!

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  11. Jackie said:

    WOW! I am inspired, impressed and I have to say it…a little jealous. Yep, I have blog envy. GREAT Job!
    Jackie
    http://www.domesticfits.com/

    [Rispondi]

  12. Tiffany said:

    I LOVE this whole post, a great recipe, fabulous photos and I love the idea of using the shell as your dish, beautifully done!

    [Rispondi]

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