Gigli with Grapes, Zucchini & Mint

Twice in Tuscany and we went home empty-handed. We were in dire need to restock our table extra virgin olive oil as our son pointedly told us.  He and his baby sister are firm believers of pouring drizzling oil on their food before proclaiming them edible.  Extra virgin olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano are staple to them. From their very first food, they have comprised the daily diet given by their pediatrician. They didn't shake off the habit anymore. Thank God, because it's something very good for them. One of my son's favorite snacks is bread drizzled with oil.  I like having bread with oil at times but not as a daily treat. Come to think of it, I don't have the right to complain because it's a miracle that a kid would actually prefer to eat something so healthy rather than those sugar and conservant loaded snacks disguised as yummy-looking goodies.

Pasta with Zucchini & Mint  is one of the regular pasta dishes I cook at home. The kids love it, we love it. You just need to throw in patience as one of the ingredients because you have to chop a lot of zucchini by hand. I recently tried to cheat my way through chopping by dumping them all in the electric chopper. I didn't labor so much but I got the consequence of having an unpalatable dinner.  It was a first that my son refused it.  He's usually all praises and Mr. Excitement himself when he sees it on the kitchen table.  So the chopping matters. 

This time, I loved the addition of the sweet white grapes. It gave the already good pasta more character and the blending was delicious.  A delicous idea for summer.

Gigli with Grapes, Zucchini & Mint

Serves 4
  • 400 g. gigli or any short pasta
  • 100 g. white grapes, quartered
  • 6 big zucchini, diced
  • a big handful of mint leaves, chopped finely
  • salt & pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

  1. Sautè the diced zucchini in a saucepan with some water (about 1/2 cup) and extra virgin olive oil over medium flame.  Stir once in a while to avoid burning.   This should take about half an hour or until the water evaporates and the zucchini start to change color.
  2. Meanwhile, boil water for the pasta.  When it boils, add salt then the pasta.  Cook according to the cooking time suggested in the package.
  3. When the zucchini are toasted and soft, add the grapes.  Keep the fire low.  Squash some grapes a bit with the back of the wooden spoon while cooking.  Cook for another 10 minutes together.  
  4. Add the chopped mint leaves.  Add the cooked pasta.
  5. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.

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