There are so many shapes of pasta… be it spaghetti, ziti, rigatoni or, if you’re fancy, orecchiette. Orecchiette translated means little ears. Many years ago, I believe it was in Food and Wine magazine, there was a recipe for orecchiette baked with olives, vegetables and mozzarella. Instead of regular black olives the recipe calls for Kalamata olives, which are from Greece, dark purple in color, are meaty in texture and are preserved in either wine vinegar or oil. They can taste both tangy and salty. However, for this recipe I used Gaeta olives from Italy. Gaeta olives are black fleshed and milder in taste than Kalamata. They can be slight tart and slightly salty.
This recipe is very refreshing during the summer as it takes advantage of summertime tomatoes and green zucchini. There is no sauce, just the vegetables, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and mozzarella. The pasta is just baked until heated through. It was a lovely change from our normal pasta with tomato sauce. It does take approximately an hour from start to finish to prepare this dish as you need to dice the zucchini and sauté them. The tomatoes need to be peeled and diced. I went one step further and seeded the tomatoes. I believe it will be worth your effort to try this dish. If you’re looking to utilize seasonal, fresh vegetables and get your fill of pasta, this recipe is for you. My husband and I enjoyed the change.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.