Aired April 20, 2011
3 zucchini, very thinly sliced (but thicker than paper thin or they will just burn)
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1/4 cup pasta water, to thin
Freshly ground black pepper
Handful fresh basil leaves (leaves from 5 leafy stems)
Boil the spaghetti in salted water until just al dente. Meanwhile, toss the zucchini with flour. Heat the cup of olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over high heat and add as much zucchini as will fit in a single layer. Cook, stirring and flipping occasionally, until well browned and a little crispy, about 4 minutes. Remove the zucchini to a plate and sprinkle with coarse salt. Repeat until youve cooked all of the zucchini.
Meanwhile, whisk the cheese together with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the pasta water, adding a bit more if necessary. You want the consistency to be creamy. Drain the spaghetti and add to the bowl with Parmesan mixture. Toss together, season with salt and pepper, and fold in two-thirds of the fried zucchini and all of the basil.
To serve, portion the pasta into four shallow bowls and evenly distribute the rest of the zucchini on top of each, along with a couple of gratings of Parmesan.