Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You Can't Stop Zucchini, You Can Only Slow it Down

Very soon, if not already, you're going to be faced with one of summer's great dilemmas; what the hell am I going to do with all these zucchini?

Maybe they're from your garden, or possibly some sadistic neighbor's, but regardless of where they came from, there they sit on the counter, taunting you with their size and numbers.

While it will probably only put a small dent in your cache of courgettes, this recipe I posted last year is very simple and quite tasty. Enjoy!


Tuna Zucchini Elbow Pasta - It's Just Dinner


I almost didn't film this meal. Initially, it struck me as so mundane and unimpressive that I wasn't sure it would make a worthwhile video recipe. Then I remembered I'm an atypical Food Wishes fan. While it's getti
ng harder and harder for me to impress myself, thankfully most of you remain fairly easy to impress.
I don't say that with condescension, but with envy. I have to remind myself that not everything I make has to be a "special." That it's okay to just cook, film, and post without a point, or an angle, or even a reason.This recipe is not impressive, it's not interesting, there are no new techniques, it doesn't remind me of any funny stories, and it certainly isn't going to win any beauty contests. I promised myself to never use the phrase, "it is what it is," but here, I really have no choice. It is what it is, and that's just dinner. Enjoy!




1 lb elbow macaroni
olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 large zucchini, 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
1 tsp dried Italian herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc., the usual suspects)
3 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups water
12 oz tuna
Parmesan cheese


View the complete recipe

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

It may seem 'plain jane' to you, but lots of us out here in the forsaken kitchens of the uninspired need every little ounce of help we can get, AND TO BE CERTAIN "mundane" by Chef John beats the heck out of the Macy's video just prior to this one.

Anonymous said...

I hate zucchini yet I really want one right now. Shows what a great chef you are, you can make zucchini appetizing. :P

Anonymous said...

Is there a good way to add some protein to this w/o it turing into that crappy hamburger helper stuff?

Chef John said...

add protein? There's 12 oz of tuna! Maybe I misunderstood?

Angie ^i^ said...

LOL.. Tuna??? You used tuna in this recipe?? *tilt*

Anonymous said...

Hey Angie, What's meant by "tilt"?

DeLynn said...

Last I checked tuna was a protein. =P That's funny.

Looks good Chef! I always loved tuna in mac n cheese. I'll try this recipe, for sure!

Angie ^i^ said...

*tilt*
*blonde head tilt*
Kinda like: DUH! LOL

Sorry, I was just being silly!!!

Ofri said...

tuna is great :)
hey john,
you forgot to add you sponsor, "the shoes that serve!"

whats marinara sauce made of? no idea what it is.

*SpArKy* said...

I'm doing this one! Any ideas on how I can decrease the amount of tomato sauce used? (if I eat a lot of it it gives me heart burn when I run. And where did you get those dishes?

Chef John said...

it's hard to reduce tomato in a tomato sauce besides not adding it. Some use stock, but not the same dish. The dishes are from an Asian kitchen supply store in SF - Kamei

Chef John said...

marinara is just a basic, vegetarian tomato pasta sauce.

Jeremy said...

God Damnit Chef John do NOT have your mid life crisis all up in here! You are a great chef and I frequent your website every day. That being said, if you stop cooking because you think your food is "mundane" I'll have nothing to cook for dinner tomorrow. I'm making your ciabatta bread literally as soon as i stop reprimanding you. Thanks a lot bud.

Jeremy

ofri said...

oh ok.
ill just make my own,
dont really like premade sauce :)

*SpArKy*
You might wanna try to add some graded squash or some Alfafa sprouts instead of lets say half of the sauce, i do like em in pasta .
it will change the flavor yeah but if tomatoes isent your thing than add other veggies

granny said...

Oh this is something I can make tomorrow. Have all the ingredients but I will cut the recipe in half as we are only two unless the grandkids are around.
I didn't realize there were folks out there who didn't know what marinara sauce is. Golly!

Anonymous said...

Can I use Alfredo sauce or is that just silly. . .

Chef John said...

not silly at all!

Anonymous said...

Do you cook it the sames way with Alfredo (water and all)?

Chef John said...

yes, but you don't need the water, just enough sauce to coat everything.

Fan4ever said...

Thank You!! This recipe was amazing!! I use the Alfredo (Classico's Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo)and my family thinks that I am a genius!!! Thanks Again Chef John!!!

*SpArKy* said...

This was an AWESOME weekday dinner recipe!

Leslie said...

Searched "zucchini". Got this recipe. Dinner in 45 minutes. I'm so getting laid tonight... Thanks, Chef John!

Chef John said...

lol... glad i could help.

Salvatore said...

Hey, love your stuff. I've been watching your cook videos for two days now for something to eat when I'm done experimenting with raw food.


Just to let you know (from one of the most hardcore Italo-American Napolitano out there) in Italy it's actually pronounced "een-yo-key".

I tried to make that as phonetic as possible.


Great recipe, as always. =)

Asian Malaysian said...

Chef John, thank you for making store bought pasta sauce an acceptable resource in a "proper" kitchen. So many pretentious celebrity chefs make it seem that if you use of the stuff (not to mention store bought stocks), you might as well stay out of the kitchen altogether and order that pizza. Thank you for creating real recipes for real people who perhaps dont have the space or time to make their own stocks, tomato sauce, demi-glace, etc. Will look for some air-flown zucchini at the supermarket even if it negates the whole point of the recipe.

Basia said...

So I'm the only one with a pic in my mind of Chef John wearing an apron and a smile - but sans pants? (Thanks, Em!)

Steve said...

I, for one, cannot see zucchini without thinking of Derek Smalls in the airport scene in "This is Spinal Tap".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRpWnK6Rg3E

The link says cucumber but it's really zucchini. Harry Shearer named his record company "Courgette Records"

Anonymous said...

I can't seem to view any of the videos from this site, is there a new version of realplayer or something I need to download?

Chef John said...

sorry, no idea, but the video are embeded, you shouldn't need to download anything.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef, stop shortchanging your ans! Stop recycling videos please!

Steve said...

Chef:

If Anonymous up there can't view the videos, it might be because they need to install or update their Flash plugin. They should check

http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/

for details. If they're on a Linux or other "minority" system, things can be a bit tweaky sometimes (but one would assume if they're on a Linux system they're probably hip enough to figure this out already).

Also, if they're running an "off brand" browser, like Google Chrome, especially on the Mac, and they have some sort of ad blocking software, such as AdThwart, they may need to either turn it off when viewing your pages or set an exception.

That said, if they can view videos on YouTube they should be able to view them here.

Chef John said...

Sorry Anon! I really should stop "short changing" you. In fact, I feel so bad, I should send you a refund for some of the money you've contributed to the site. Please leave your name and address so I can mail you a check.

Thomas Andrew said...

mmmm! I love zucchini, but I might leave out the tuna when I make this. I'm not a huge tuna fan.

:-)

Steve said...

Hey, Anonymous:

Don't think of it as "recycling", think of it as leftovers.

Just like Alton Brown's "Good Eats" reruns on Food Network, recycled Food Wishes is better for you than most of what you find on the web.

Birder said...

I want to know what kind of Jetson-esque society you live in that your tuna comes in envelopes.

Lucia said...

Recipe might be simple, but i think people (when I say people I mean me) appreciate simple but tasty recipes that they can fix for dinner after work, that maybe something fancier that might require more time.

Khaddy said...

This is nothing newto me i always make tuna rotini noodles for my husband for lunch it turns out great

Peter Lazzaro said...

I made this today buy no one wanted to eat it so I had to throw away the whole pot in the garbage still warm. FML

Anonymous said...

This recipe is great! You should do a series like this where you're just throwing together easy dinner dishes that can be made with almost anyone's refrigerator contents. I made this today and it took me hardly any time at all. And it was delicious!
Thanks!

Steph said...

I just found your YouTube videos, and have been watching them & reading your blog all day. This is great! You may not be impressed with it yourself, but I'm a student and this is something affordable and easy that I can make a whole bunch of ahead of time for lunch/dinner for the week. I can't wait to make it.

sy said...

I did learn a technique because I have never endeavored to cook zucchini before and it was nice to see the way you chopped them. I may add them to macaroni. :)

Julie. -- said...

will definitely try this chef John. Today, I'll make you chicken with 20 cloves of garlic. Yum! Almost all my recipe blog posts are from your youtube videos. Thank you!!!!

Tamilla said...

An don't say your recipes aren't inspiring... I was watching the video and thinking of how I could possibly adapt this recipe for my family (my kids don't really like fish even canned one)So..... I thought of trying it maybe with some chicken or even ground beef.... Who's with me?

Spot in Cyberspace said...

I can't wait to make this...first I'll have to dig out a stopwatch...6:15? A great belly laugh at 9:15 am! Thanks for the recipe and the smile that's still on my face! :-D