Paccheri with cherry tomatoes and fiorelli
Fans of rigatoni will appreciate these oversized pasta tubes, tossed in a light sauce created when cherry tomatoes are sautéed with garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil.
Executive Chef Rocky Maselli
A16 Rockridge, Oakland
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1 lb. paccheri or other tube-shaped pasta
2 pints cherry tomatoes, stemmed
2 to 3 cloves garlic, sliced
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 tbsp. olive oil for cooking plus additional oil for finishing
16 to 18 fiorelli or squash blossoms (see note)
Lemon juice, to taste
4 oz. pecorino cheese, shaved, for garnish
Cook pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, sauté cherry tomatoes, garlic and pepper flakes in 2 tbsp. olive oil until tomatoes just start to burst. Add fiorelli, pasta and 2 to 4 tbsp. pasta cooking water and cook for 1 minute, adding more pasta water as needed to coat pasta. Finish with lemon juice and olive oil to create a silky sauce. Top with pecorino.
Note: Fiorelli are the buds that grow into blossoms on squash plants. If you have a prolific zucchini or other squash plant in your yard and want to reduce its productivity, remove the buds and use them for this recipe. Otherwise, you can buy squash blossoms at a farmers market or specialty-produce store.
Serves 4 to 5