Farfalle Italiane with Matcha Green Tea, Pistachios, Raisins & Zucchini

After featuring the candy-colored farfalle primavera last month, I had to blog about this other vibrantly colored farfalle.  This tri-colored pasta is aptly called farfalle italiane because of the Italian flag's colors. 

Last Thursday, Italy had a big celebration commemorating its 65th year of Festa della Repubblica. Festival of the Republic is the day when the country had a referendum choosing between a republic or a monarchy to govern Italy after the fall of Fascism.  The republic won and all the male descendants of the monarchy were exiled from the country.  Incidentally, the 150th year of Unita' d'Italia (Unity of Italy) was also celebrated.  It is the day when the country became one unified nation.

It was a national holiday and the festivities were concentrated in the center of Rome.  There were 80 heads of State and government invited so the security and traffic were imaginably stringent.  And where were we amidst all this chaos?  Circumventing our way around the center of Rome to reach Parco della Caffarella, a 190 hectare green park in the city that extends until the Appian Way.  It was a free day so we decided to go biking.  After two hours of desperately preparing to go out, the bikes and kids were finally packed in the car.  As soon as we started to move, we realized that we were heading straight to the parade and festivities.  Darn, after two hours of putting up with the kids and the bikes, we can't just abandon our plan.

We continued, met policemen after policemen in every corner of endless closed roads, saw some military participants in every inconceivable mode of transportation and of course, the traffic.   The park was crawling with people and the smell was heavenly.  I counted more than 10 active barbecue grills roasting different kinds of meat.  Sigh.  And we just rushed to a pizzeria to buy some pizza al taglio for our picnic lunch.  The prospect of eating our pizza didn't seem so appetizing anymore.  As we sped on away from the crowds, the people thinned out.  We finally found a spot with a couple of other families on bikes already having their lunch of .... pizza!   I guess it's the most practical thing.  It would be impossible to lug around a barbecue grill on a bike anyway. 

While we were settling down on our picnic spot, we were greeted by the frecce tricolori.  Nine fighter planes spewing out colored smoke lining the sky with the Italian flag.  It was a remarkable sight. 

Our picnic spot was right beside the cenotaph of Annia Regilla, a noblewoman killed by her husband, Herodes Atticus in the year 160 in Greece.  The cenotaph or (empty) tomb was erected in the second half of the second century A.D. 

Farfalle Italiane with Matcha Green Tea, Pistachios, Raisins & Zucchini

Serves 4
  • 400 grams farfalle italiane (or regular farfalle)
  • 400 grams zucchini, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Matcha green tea
  • 1/4 cup raisins, soaked in warm water, drained & patted dry
  • 3 tablespoons pistachios, ground
  • Handful of fresh fennel leaves
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
  1. Over high heat, boil a pot of water for the pasta.  When it boils, add the salt.  Cook the pasta according to the time in the package.
  2. Meanwhile, sautè the zucchini in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. Keep on tossing in the pan until they change color.  
  3. Add the raisins, Matcha green powder & pistachios.  Toss the ingredients together for about 3 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper.
  4. Add the cooked pasta, a little bit of water used for cooking the pasta & the fennel leaves.
  5. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.