Farfalle with Zucchini Flowers and Saffron

zucchini flowers

Zucchini flowers!!! A delicacy that I never dreamed of finding in an American market, what a pleasant surprise when I found them at the Daniel Island Farmers Market a few weeks ago. I was surprised by how much they cost, considering the fact that most farmers just toss them and sell the zucchini, but I ignored it and bought a few to make in a pasta. Had I been feeling more creative I may have stuffed them and fried them alla romana. I hope to find them again this week!

onion, carrots, celery and parsley dicedbutter carrot, celery, onion and parsley

Even though I had beautiful vegetables and these flowers at my disposal, I was not feeling inspired or creative in the kitchen. Luckily my husband’s juices were flowing and he made dinner for us that night. Ahhhhh, I love it when that happens, a rare treat these days, the poor dear.

zucchini flowers

He made a pasta that a friend of his in Milan had made for him once, with a battuto of carrots, celery, onions and parsley all minced up in the food processor. This was simmered over a low flame and then tossed with saffron and the zucchini flowers, complex flavors and wonderfully delicate. Grazie amore.


Farfalle with Zucchini Flowers and Saffron

  • 8 to 12 zucchini flowers
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ cup of flat-leaved parsley
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 envelopes of saffron
  • ½ lb of farfalle pasta
  • salt for pasta water

Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Clean the carrot, celery and onion and chop them up in a food processor with the parsley. Heat butter in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and add the carrot, celery, onion and parsley mix. Allow to simmer over medium-low heat for a few minutes while bringing a large pot of water for the pasta to a boil. If the mix starts to dry out, add water as needed.

In the meantime, clean your zucchini flowers. There were a number of little bugs on my zucchini flowers, which you won’t always find, but it is best rinse them out to make sure you don’t get that extra protein. Dry them with a kitchen cloth or allow them to drain in a colander, the extra water won’t hurt.

Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

At this point, add the saffron and the zucchini flowers.

When the pasta is perfectly al dente, drain the pasta and turn up the heat on the sauce. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and to absorb the flavor. Serve immediately.

*You don’t want to add cheese to a dish with saffron, it would kill the saffron’s delicate flavor.

farfalle with zucchini flowers and saffron

~ by italicious on June 24, 2009.

5 Responses to “Farfalle with Zucchini Flowers and Saffron”

  1. The sauce could use something more to bring out the flavours. Or, perhaps it tastes better the next day once the flavours have settled in

  2. beautiful and delisioous looking. Serve this with red ripe tomatoes and spinach salad and you’d have a perfect presentation.

  3. I was able to find them at a farmer’s market, so if you have one where you live ask the vendors if they can make them available for you the next week.

  4. Can you find zucchini blossoms in the US? Haven’t had any luck – any tips?

  5. Squash blossoms on their own are a perfect food. Squash blossoms and SAFFRON? Now that’s a whole other level!

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