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Paccheri with cherry tomatoes and fiorelli

Recipe by:

Executive Chef Rocky Maselli
A16 Rockridge, Oakland

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. paccheri or other tube-shaped pasta
    2 pints cherry tomatoes, stemmed
    2 to 3 cloves garlic, sliced
    Pinch red pepper flakes
    2 tbsp. olive oil for cooking plus additional oil for finishing
    16 to 18 fiorelli or squash blossoms (see note)
    Lemon juice, to taste
    4 oz. pecorino cheese, shaved, for garnish 

Directions

Cook pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, sauté cherry tomatoes, garlic and pepper flakes in 2 tbsp. olive oil until tomatoes just start to burst. ¬†Add fiorelli, pasta and 2 to 4 tbsp. pasta cooking water and cook for 1 minute, adding more pasta water as needed to coat pasta. Finish with lemon juice and olive oil to create a silky sauce. Top with pecorino.

Note: Fiorelli are the buds that grow into blossoms on squash plants. If you have a prolific zucchini or other squash plant in your yard and want to reduce its productivity, remove the buds and use them for this recipe. Otherwise, you can buy squash blossoms at a farmers market or specialty-produce store.

Serves 4 to 5

Califonia Bountiful