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17 Mar 2012

Pasta with Zucchini and my second Cooking Class

Pasta with fried Zucchini
It never happens but when it does it is in the worst moment possible. How often have we said these words with a cursing tone toward the stars (or the municipal house).
I have been living in Germany for roughly 7 years now and can still count on the tip of my fingers the times that transports have gone on strike, actually I think they are quite under 5 in total and yesterday was one of these.

While doing some chores on Tuesday last week, I glanced at the header of a local newspaper being sold in a street vending machine. The word "Streik" filled up at least one third the the front page. I dismissed that as some minor issue until an email back at home informed me that this strike was supposed to involve all public transports for the whole day of Wednesday.

The way back home
Normally I prefer to walk anywhere I have to go (also because bus fares are rather high around here) but yesterday wasn't a day like any other; yesterday I had to host my second cooking class.
The location isn't that far away from where I live but when you need to transport a suitcase and a bag full of groceries for 15 people across the city (and a river) all distances seem kinda inflated. Luckily enough it wasn't raining, yet, so in almost 30 minutes I was there.

Slowly the students started arriving; many were delayed by the traffic jam ensued from the aforementioned strike and now pouring rain.
After the customary intro about the dishes we were going to cook and enjoy, the groups took possession of their cooking stations and started chopping until they needed the salt.
A flashback of 2 salt boxes on the floor beside an armchair flashed in my mind, and I smacked my forehead: I had forgotten the salt at home!!
So let's rush back out hunting for a grocery store and some white crystals. Even though I am not very familiar with that part of the city, I remembered where some major supermarkets were located and thankfully they were quite close-by.
With my umbrella in hand and a speedy pace, I managed to get the salt before the pots of water were even boiling.

The evening proceeded rather smoothly with me going up and down the room and in between the students trying to make the experience as smooth and rewarding as possible.
The lack of frying pans though caused us to have a shorter time than usual to enjoy the food before cleaning the whole kitchen.
Sometimes 3 hours are not enough.

In this kind of days, when you reach home exhausted and wet, a simple and satisfying meal is what can make the difference for your energy balance. This extra simple pasta dish I propose you today, could not be more appropriate.
Don't let the "Shake 'n Bake" shortness of the recipe deceive you, this pasta is full of southern Italian comfort and love from mother Nature.

Pasta with fried Zucchini and Fresh oregano

Ingredients (serve 5):
  • 3 zucchini, sliced into disks (roughly 1/2cm thick) 
  • Vegetable oil 
  • 1-2 garlic clove, finely minced 
  • fresh oregano leaves, to taste 
  • olive oil 
  • 400g penne rigate 
  • salt & pepper  


Fry the zucchini slices in a pan with hot vegetable oil. When they will be nice and golden brown transfer the zucchini on some paper towel.

In a small skillet heat up some olive oil with 1 tablespoon of water, the garlic and the fresh oregano leaves. Let all the ingredients infuse gently until almost all the water will be evaporated. Set aside.

Cook the pasta until al-dente in a pot of salted boiling water. When ready, drain the penne and season them with the zucchini slices, the aromatic oil dressing and a sprinkle of black pepper.
Toss and add more olive oil if needed.


  1. "when you were doing chores..." ....You do chores? Really? Who knew? ;) Love this recipe, so simple but gorgeous! It was fun to read about your class as well, so happy your teaching them!

  2. This recipe is a complete meal...Can't wait to try!