Sunday, June 4, 2017

Linguine a Zucchine e Agrodolce Ciliegia Selvatica

     A Tasty Light Pasta!
     Agrodolce is a classic Sicilian sweet and sour sauce.  Agrodolce is actually originated in Arabic cuisine way back when sugar was traded like a spice and used like a spice.  The chief spice traders in the Mediterranean region before the European Middle Ages in history were the Arabic spice traders.  Sicily has a long history of maritime Arabic trade and some Arabic cooking influences can be noticed in Sicilian cuisine, just like all cuisines that border on the Mediterranean Sea.
     Linguine and Zucchine Agrodolce is a nice light vegetarian pasta.  Agrodolce Sauce is usually made with a balance of sweetness from sugar and a tart sour flavor from lemon and/or vinegar.  Aromatic ingredients are added to make the sweet sour flavor more complex.  Dried fruit also is usually added to Agrodolce to increase the flavor depth.  Dried berries or raisins are the most common dried fruit added, but many chefs select other dried fruits to add a signature touch.  Dried Wild Cherries (Sour Cherries) are popular throughout Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean region.  An Agrodolce flavored with Dried Sour Cherries tastes surprisingly nice with the light savory summer squash flavor of zucchini.  Today's Sicilian style pasta is a classic choice for the warm summer season!
     Wild Cherry Agrodolce Sauce:
     This recipe yields about 1/2 cup.  (Enough for 1 portion of pasta.) 
     Dried Sour Cherries can be found in Eastern European and Mediterranean food markets.  
     Step 1:  Place these ingredients in a sauce pot:
     - 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
     - 1/4 cup of sugar
     - 1 cup of dry white wine
     - 1/2 tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil over medium heat.
     Step 2:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of minced Dried Sour Cherries.    
     Add 2 finely chopped garlic cloves.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced shallot.
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced onion.
     Add 1 pinch of crushed dried red pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Gently simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a very thin syrup consistency.
     *The yield should be about 1/2 cup.  The sauce will reduce again when added to the sautéed zucchini later in the recipe.
     Step 3:  Place the thin Wild Cherry Agrodolce Sauce in a container.
     Keep the sauce warm on a stove top or chill it for later use.

     Linguine Pasta:
     Cook 1 portion of Linguine Pasta in a pot boiling water till it is cooked al dente.
     Cool the pasta under cold running water.
     Drain the water off of the pasta.
     Toss the pasta with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and set it aside.

     Linguine a Zucchine e Agrodolce Ciliegia Selvatica:
     This recipe yields 1 pasta entrée.
     For pasta, a little bit of Agrodolce goes a long way!  Only enough Agrodolce is needed to coat the pasta with flavor.
     Step 1:  Keep a pot of water boiling, so the prepared Linguine Pasta can be reheated later in the recipe. 
     Step 2:  Cut 1 medium size zucchini lengthwise into thin slices.  (About 1/8" thick.)
     Cut the long thin slices into 1" to 1 1/2" lengths.  (About 1 1/4 cups is needed.)
     Step 3:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.
     Add the zucchini pieces.
     Sauté the zucchini till a few golden brown highlights appear.
     Step 4:  Add the reserved 1/2 cup of thin Wild Cherry Agrodolce Sauce.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of chopped Italian Parsley.
     Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
     Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Step 5:  Place the prepared Linguine in a pasta net.
     Reheat the pasta in the pot of boiling water for a few seconds.
     Drain the water off the pasta.
     Step 6:  Add the Linguine to the sauce and zucchini in the sauté pan.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Simmer and reduce till the Agrodolce Sauce is a thin syrup consistency that can cling to the pasta.
     *Be sure to toss the ingredients together occasionally, so the pasta does not stick to the pan.
     Step 7:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Mound the pasta and zucchini on a plate.
     Pour any excess Agrodolce Sauce over the pasta.
     No garnish is necessary!

     Linguine a Zucchine e Agrodolce Ciliegia Selvatica has a unique flavor that appeals to the senses!

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