DIVINE DINING: Summer fettuccini provides delightful taste of the season
It is my belief that you only fully appreciate a place when you’re showing it to someone else. Case in point: My dear friend Catherine has been visiting this week from Belfast, Northern Ireland and, as a result, I find myself positively delighted with this wee sandy patch of pine trees I call home. I’ve taken her to cheer on the Durham Bulls (complete with hot dogs and peanuts, of course). We’ve frequented my favorite coffee shops and Mexican restaurants and she was absolutely smitten with pulled pork at The Steele Pig (who isn’t?).
We caught the newest Woody Allen film at the Sunrise Theatre in Southern Pines and were even given a tour of Fort Bragg by an Air Force friend of mine. It has been a delightful time of touring and tasting all this part of North Carolina has to offer. But all of that visiting and eating can be a bit tiring, y’all. We decided that a simple supper in was in order one evening. Off to the grocery store we went, with very little idea of what we might create. We discovered marinated artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes, farm-grown zucchini, fresh fettuccini pasta, lemon and sweet basil. Dinner came together in a snap: a light, delicious summer pasta of vegetables swirled together in a lemon white wine sauce, accented with basil. Each bite tasted of summer and, after all that pulled pork and Mexican food, it was a refreshing change. Take a moment to savor summertime while it lasts with this fabulous fettuccini.
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We enjoyed ours outside with a glass of wine (and then rushed indoors as an angry horde of gnats descended upon us). But, it was delectable nonetheless.
1⁄2 cup marinated artichokes, chopped
1⁄2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (or fresh if you like), chopped
1 zucchini, largely grated
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup fresh basil, rolled and thinly sliced
zest of 1 lemon, juice of 1⁄2 a lemon
1⁄3 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lb fresh fettuccini pasta
1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook until translucent, about ten minutes. Remove garlic. Add grated zucchini, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes and cook an additional few minutes. Add white wine and reduce by half, about 5 minutes. Finish with the lemon zest, lemon juice, basil and butter to form a light sauce. Adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook fresh pasta 2-3 minutes, until nearly tender (fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried). Toss in the vegetables and sauce, coating well, and add parmesan cheese. Adjust salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately. Leftover pasta is also delicious chilled.
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The Rev. Whitney Wilkinson is pastor of Cameron Presbyterian Church.