I was gifted with two enormous zucchini from a local gardener. When I heard I was getting two, I thought, how nice, how restrained, just a sample.  I went to pick them up, and I think they must be three pounds each, maybe four. A few days ago, I made, with now what I must now call petite zucchini, linguine from Heidi Swanson’s book, Supernatural Everyday, a cookbook I received after reading at Brookline Bookstore. It calls for wringing or squeezing water out of shredded squash, which is much easier than, say, to do with a stone. The result was delicious. Now I tempted to make her spicy zucchini bread but I must wait until midnight, when it has cooled off enough to turn on the oven.

Whenever I think about cooking at midnight, I am reminded of a poet, Pasquale Verdicchio, who taught several of us how to make Midnight Pasta, a dish so simple, and so heavenly that it needs a magic hour for its own. I had thrown a party, in San Diego, and we were all mildly stunned with drink, so that we needed the fortification of restorative pasta. To learn how to make it, you need a party, spaghetti, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes. It sounds like another pasta dish, but it isn’t.

The other day, when I couldn’t sleep, I remembered an ayurvedic recipe from John Douillard’s website, which I made, since the only party I was at was on Facebook.  It might be better mixed in a blender, so you you don’t need to spoon up the dates and almonds, but it did the trick.

I have two fans going on now. It is nearly 5:00 PM. Seven hours to go.


5 thoughts on “Zuke

  1. Britt Eliott

    Dear Indira, Thanks for this. It is lovely to have such a palpable reminder that in the Northern hemisphere it is now summer, glorious summer! My grandparents have always grown zucchini — the big, hefty fat ones like those that you describe — while down here, in South Africa, they only have the slight little, slender little, feeble little version of the same all year round. At home, we would call them “baby zucchini” (which graces the soul a bit, what with its sweet anthropomorphism), although here, they are called “marrows”. This is always misconstrued by me in the worst possible way: all anatomical blood ‘n’ guts — the grey-white cords that bind our bones; the murky, unthinkable furnaces that burn relentlessly in our very cells! Yikes. Would love more specifics on the intriguing pasta you mentioned. I’ve had similar midnights when a simple dish would’ve been heartily consumed. One tends to get a bit monotonous in the kitchen — at least this one does. Another trick up the sleeve is never a bad idea. One another topic, I’ve never thanked you formally for so generously providing me with a reference many years ago, and for so bravely allowing me to re-use it recently. I am indeed employed at the moment, helping to run a Xhosa language school in Upper Woodstock, Cape Town, thanks in part to your letter. I really appreciate it, Indira — it means so much to have outside work after having been consumed by the home for so long. The place I’m working at can be seen at http://www.xhosafundis.co.za. An awesome lady named Kyle has built it all up from scratch and developed all the materials (beautiful books and CDs) herself. She is a very creative and intelligent person and I am very pleased to work for her. An obvious, awesome bonus too is that I can learn a bit of Xhosa myself, hopefully bridging a few gaps along the way. I hope this finds you well, and I look forward, as always, to your next post! Enkosi kakhulu (thank you very much),Britt Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2013 21:20:13 +0000 To: eurotrainer@hotmail.com


    1. indiraganesan Post author

      Dear Britt,

      What a lovely letter, thank you! Your new job sounds wonderful, and I’m thrilled for you. The website looks good, and I’m glad you are working with generous-spirited people.

      Summer linguine by Heidi Swanson is simple. The hardest part is squeezing the shredded zukes with your hands to get the water out.
      So, shred 2-3 zuchinni, and place in a colander over a bowl,and sprinkle with salt. Cook 8 oz of pasta. Drain, but save a little of the cooking water. Heart 2 T olive oil in a large saucepan, and heat i large clove of garlic, thinly sliced, and 1/2 t red pepper flakes. Squeeze out zucchini and add to pan. Cook until tender, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the drained pasta, and add the water if it seems dry. Toss well. Add 1/2 cup grated parmesan and 1 T butter, and toss again. Season with salt & black pepper & divide among 2-4 bowls. Top with more cheese if you like.

      In India, hard cheese is pretty rare, and I don’t know what it’s like in South Africa. I think instead of cheese, you can add fresh tomato, and basil. I sometimes use yogurt as a sauce of pasta, and pretend it’s Russian.


      Let me know if it turns out okay.




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