Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pasta with Cucumbers

I found this recipe on the Food & Wine web site while looking for new pasta recipes. The idea of cucumbers and mint with pasta was really interesting to me, yet so very simple. I just had to try it.

Although I usually like more pungent flavors, I've really enjoyed this buttery combination. My only problem is that I can’t find Kirby cucumbers (like those in the picture). I’ve looked at all the different markets I frequent, including the farmer’s market, but no luck. Instead, I’ve used the small Asian cucumbers I find at Trader Joe’s.

I don’t think my husband is all that thrilled with this dish, mainly because it’s not very filling. You might want to try it as a side dish, rather than the main entrée.

Fettuccine with Cucumbers & Mint  PRINTABLE RECIPE
(serves 2)

1/2 Lb dry fettuccine
kosher salt
1 Lb cucumbers (Kirby cucumbers are recommended)
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 3-1/2 Tbsp salt and then the pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

2. Meanwhile, peel the cucumbers and halve lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. (I’ve found that a grapefruit spoon works really well for this.) Then slice the cucumbers crosswise, 1/4" thick.

3. In a large skillet, combine butter, cucumber slices, and 1 tsp salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the cucumbers are tender, but still a little crisp – about 5 minutes.

4. Lower the heat to medium and add the pasta to the cucumbers. Toss to coat the pasta with butter. If needed, add a little pasta water – 1 Tbsp at a time – to moisten.

5. Remove from heat, add mint, and toss. Serve immediately.

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