12 Jan 2013

nigella's zucchini + vermouth pasta

Quirky background from Frangipani Fabrics

My girl crush on Nigella Lawson has reignited. Is it just me, or has she slimmed down (though I'm not suggesting she needed to change her voluptuous shape)? Or has she just glammed up? In 'Nigellisima' she's finally out of that denim jacket and floor length skirt and into slinky black cocktail frocks and spiky high heels. And her bone structure - amazing! Obviously Italian food agrees with her.

This week, did you too drool over the most decadent soft-serve coffee ice cream? Must google that one - aha! I was also salivating over the simple zucchini pasta supper for one. Perfect, as I still had a zucchini of dad's in the fridge.

The recipe was easy enough that I didn't bother grabbing for a notebook as she cooked; I just memorised 'onion - zucchini - vermouth - parsley - butter - parmesan'. And somehow, I think, I remembered it correctly the next day for my lunch.

Cooking it 'down' meant the zucchini went almost jam-like and deliciously sweet; the vermouth would have helped there, too. Just a smidgeon of parmesan and butter - just enough to make the 'sauce' creamy, not to taste obviously cheesy.

At least this is how I made it, without any reference to the official recipe.

Nigella's zucchini and vermouth pasta
My memorised take from the 'Nigellisima' TV show. Enough for one greedy person, as Nigella would say.
  • First, put up on your lippy, tong your hair into voluptuous waves, and zip into a seductive black dress and your highest heels. Just kidding.
  • Seriously, first get your pasta cooking - enough for one serve, a short pasta like cassarecce or penne.
  • Meanwhile, heat a good glug of olive oil in a large frypan and saute a small onion; Nigella used spring onions, I think. Leek would also be lovely. I added some crushed garlic.
  • Dice one zucchini and add it to the pan. Saute over a medium heat and allow it to soften; as Nigella said, you're going for a slow-cooked effect, not crispness. Once it's started to soften, add a slurp of vermouth, give it a good stir then partially cover to help it cook down. You shouldn't have any obvious liquid left, just a lovely gooeyness.
  •  Once cooked, stir thru a generous handful of chopped parsley, a small sliver of butter and a pinch or two of grated parmesan; as I said above, just enough to add creaminess, not add too much cheesy-saltiness to the dish.
  • Add your cooked and drained pasta to the pan, fold thru then serve.


  1. This sounds different with all of that slow cooking! I eat a lot of pasta and a new sauce is always welcome. Gotta love Nigella.

  2. yes - it was more of a winter dish than a summer one, but very easy to make and the sweetness was delicious. i'll definitely make it again.

  3. Does this recipe work if the cook's wearing jandals? I reckon so! It's always good to have a new recipe for that inevitable extra zucchini lurking in the fridge.

    1. sue, as long as you're wearign some kind of footwear in the kitchen...
      at this time of the year, we need all the zuke recipes we can get!

  4. "Nigelissima" was on my christmas present list(to me, from me). I love her books. I made this recipe last week (more or less according to the instructions) and it was delicious. A household of one at the moment, so I had leftovers for lunch the next day (creating envy in the communal kitchen at work).

    There is another excellent veggie pasta recipe in "Kitchen" - involving green beans, pesto and potatoes. Sounds odd, but tastes fantastic, with the potatoes contributing to a rather unctuous sauce for the pasta. Depending on what is happening in the garden, I have sometimes substituted a bunch of silver beet for the beans, and that works wonderfully too.

    1. hello, fellow household of one (at the moment)! welcome to dig in.
      i've seen recipes for pesto-beans-potato, and never tried it, thinking the potato with pasta was carb overload. i have nothing against carbs, but i wouldn't think to have potatos with pasta. so maybe i shall give it a try now, as i have beans in my garden and i'm making another batch of pesto on the weekend. i wonder if the type of potato makes a difference? thanks for the tip off.
      and i firmly believe in gifts to self - and not just at christmas time.

    2. I understand the carb overload caution. The other member of the usually household of two considers any meal without potatoes in some form to be uncivilized, hence the original attraction of the recipe. There aren't a lot of potatoes,and I think I reduce the amount of pasta to achieve an appropriate balance between sauce and stodge. As to type of potato, I've made it with pink eyes, bismarks, dutch creams, in fact whatever comes to hand. It varies, of course, but rarely fails to please.

    3. thank you for the advice on the potato types. i intend to buy some this weekend to have a go at it. unfortunately i also need to buy green beans - i'm between crops.


Word-verification is on, as the robot-spammers are loving my tuna past bake too much at the moment! I hope you understand - and I hope you'll still leave a comment at Dig In. I love hearing your thoughts, knowing someone is reading, and will always reply. Unless you're a robot-spammer.