Hello friends! It has been far too long since my last post. I took a sabbatical from blogging from the last few months as I was trying to work some things out and making some life changes.
One of my favorite things to do over the weekend, or better known as “me-time”, is to wake up early on Saturday morning and head over to our local farmers’ market to buy all the yummy veggies. Mainly I go to the Tuscaloosa River Market along the gorgeous Riverwalk along the Black Warrior River. Here you get to buy locally sourced fruits, veggies, and baked goods, while admiring the beautiful view of the river. At the Tuscaloosa River Market you will be able to find everything your family needs and for very few dollars. The perfect tasty ingredients for all of your recipes.
There is something so special about going to the market and buying fresh produce directly from a farmer. Finding the right stand, with the good produce, and building a relationship with this person who is willing to share the fruit of their hard labor.
When I lived in Italy, my Nonno Alfonso was usually the one who bought groceries. He exactly where to buy everything we needed. The best bread from our local bakery De Conca, fruit and veggies from the stand in the first square in Piccolo Alley right next to the butcher’s shop, fish from his favorite fisherman at the fish market, and meats and mozzarella at the alimentari by my elementary school. Not only did he know where the best produce and deals were, but he knew every person by name and actually cared for them. After Nonno died and my daddy had already moved to the Alabama, I was the one in charge of buying the groceries and keeping those relationships alive. In a sense, it was my way to keep his memory alive.
Unfortunately once I moved to Alabama I forgot about all of this. Mainly because the town I originally lied in only had a couple of local shops, and we actually quite expensive, so my family and I settled for the usual big grocery store. Now that I am in another town, with more options and a big girl job, I really strive to recreate that tradition. Supporting local businesses. Creating intentional relationships. Eating yummy and healthy food. Sounds like a win-win!
I know, you probably came here to read about the recipe, but instead got a sappy little story. As always I digress. So, here is what’s on the menu today, a smooth sweet basil and zucchini squash sauce which you can prepare in only 20 minutes. As you can see I paired my sauce with some orecchiette, some traditional pasta from the Apuglia region (really any pasta will do) and some fresh smoked salmon. For this recipe I used my loyal Cusinart food processor, but really can use any processor, blender, or immersion blender. I will say, boiling the zucchini with half an onion and adding some spices to the water really makes a big difference. It helps infuse the zucchini squash with some extra flavor. But I digress… let’s get started.
- 2 zucchini squash diced
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup half and half
- 1/3 cup minced basil leaves
- In a large pot, collect the zucchini, onion, salt, and pepper. Add water and let boil for 6 minutes. Option to add a splash of olive oil for extra flavor. Drain and let cool until lukewarm.
- Place all your cooked ingredients into a food processor or blender. Add Parmesan, half and half, olive oil, and basil. Blend until smooth.
- Cook pasta of your choice according to confection instructions. Drain pasta and mix with the sauce you just created.
- Plate it and add all your favorite toppings.