Foglie du zucchini con pomodoro fresche e pastina
At long last, a recipe for courgette/zucchini leaves! The flavour is slightly bitter from the leaves, but it is balanced well with the sweetness of the tomatoes, onions, and basil. It’s very satisfying to make, especially if the ingredients I’ve listed happen to be growing in your garden! This dish originates from Messina, in the north-eastern tip of the island.
500 g/1 lb 2 oz courgette/zucchini leaves or chicory/endive leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500 g/2¾ cups ripe tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and roughly chopped
A handful of fresh basil
125 g/2 cups pastina or little dried pasta shapes (e.g. stars, wheels)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons good-quality extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook the courgette/zucchini leaves (or chicory/endive) in plenty of rolling boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain and chop the leaves.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the onions until they are golden. Add the chopped leaves, stirring well. Add the garlic, tomatoes, basil, little pasta shapes and seasoning. Stir well and add 1½ litres/6½ cups of water.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, until the pasta is cooked. Season again.
Serve with plenty of Parmesan cheese and good oil to anoint the soup.
Excerpted from Cucina Siciliana by Ursula Ferrigno, published by Ryland Peters & Small (CAN $27.95). Photography by David Munns © Ryland Peters & Small. Used with permission from the publisher.
This original recipe first appeared in the Winter 2019/2020 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.