Fiori di zucca. zucchini flowers. a bob and ani favorite dish, but nonexistent on the west side of the Atlantic unless you do it yourself. We already tried the risotto version with success, and now another application challenges the team.
Every summer when bob arrives in Rome during June and July, it is fiori di zucca season, and every chance he gets, in every dish he finds them in, he tries, remembering ani back in the USA lusting after this delicate ingredient. This year eliana introduced him to a new lunch spot not far from the Vatican Radio where the flowers were delightfully matched with a favorite pasta: orecchiette and another product we import in unusually large quantities for our Iranian friends Cyrus, Nadereh and Roxana every year from the GS supermarket on via ventun aprile not far from the University of Rome La Sapienza (by bus 310) and just a short walk from Piazza Bologna.
The chef from La Locanda di Borgo was happy to explain the recipe. In a few short words, chop up the fiori and sauté in olive oil with just a little finely chopped prosciutto and braesaola (the beef version of prosciutto), add a touch of red pepper powder and then evaporate off a splash of white wine, and then finish with a little cream and saffron, the saffron getting added last since it is delicate and should not be cooked, as bob finally learned by chance after many years from a friend. Then combine with the al dente pasta, many choices of which would seem appropriate for this sauce. Can we quantize this into an actual working recipe? Let's see. We'll have to examine the photo for guessing some quantities.