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Zucchini Pasta with Ben Milgate and Caroline McCredie

All eyes have been on Porteño’s Brussels sprouts for years now. But if this recipe is anything to go by, the zucchini might be where it’s at.



For chef Ben Milgate, this mix appears in various guises at his Sydney restaurants Porteño and Bodega. And on a Monday night off at home, it’s also his family’s go-to, tossed through pasta. “After a week of cooking meat, it’s the best,” he says. “I’ll knock it out with a little bit of Parmesan over the top. Sorry, I mean a pounding of Parmesan, let’s be real.”

Milgate’s wife is Sydney photographer Caroline McCredie. She’s shot for everyone from Vogue Living to Veuve Clicquot, Land Rover to Ladurée. The couple lives together in a double-brick cottage in Tempe with their one-year-old son, Mac, two American staffies Lulu and Winnie, turtles Hank and Betsy, Katsu the cat, and regular visits from Milgate’s kids Frankie and Clementine. “The house was built in 1939 so it’s got a lot of Deco features like the original kitchen and cornices,” says Milgate. “It hasn’t been Meriton-ified, which we love.”

While McCredie doesn’t fancy herself much of a cook (“we’re a good match because he takes care of that side of things,” she laughs) their kitchen is still one of her favourite places to be. “The house came with this amazing double-oven,” she says. “It’s a ’50s Moffat and it just cranks. It’s such an amazing feature of the house. We’re not just keeping it for aesthetics, I promise.”

IN BED Linen Tablecloth in Stone.
IN BED Linen Tablecloth in Stone.

Dining table dressed in an IN BED linen tablecloth in stone.

On a Saturday morning, they’ll hit Carriageworks Farmers Market for fresh produce before Milgate starts work. Fresh herbs, like the thyme and marjoram for this recipe, meanwhile, come straight from the garden. “We paved it in polished concrete to look a bit Palm Springs-ish,” says McCredie. “I think if life was a bit different we’d probably be living in LA or Joshua Tree. That’s very much our style.”

THE RECIPE

“Zucchini this way is super versatile,” says Milgate. “You can mix it through pasta, or Elvis [Abrahanowicz, his business partner] and I do it at work a bit as a purée with eggs or a piece of fish.”

“People think zucchini is really boring, but when you cook it this way, everybody froths. It’d also make the perfect Sunday lunch entrée. You could use fresh pasta, but we use dried, mainly because Harris Farm has the most incredible selection of different pasta from Italy.”

People think zucchini is really boring, but when you cook it this way, everybody froths.

“Yes, our pasta cupboard takes up a lot of real estate in the kitchen,” adds McCredie. “Ben has a pasta addiction.”

Yes, our pasta cupboard takes up a lot of real estate in the kitchen,” adds McCredie. “Ben has a pasta addiction.

Serves 2 (or 4 as an entrée)

Ingredients:

500gm Creste de Gallo pasta, or another short dried pasta (available at Harris farm)
100ml extra-virgin olive oil
4 green zucchini, peeled and sliced into 5cm lengths
6 zucchini flowers (flower part roughly torn, zucchini part chopped into 5cm lengths)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram
50gm grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve

IN BED Linen Tablecloth in Stone.
IN BED Linen Tablecloth in Stone.

Zucchini Pasta served on an IN BED linen tablecloth in stone.

Method:

Set a large pot of salted water to boil.

Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a large pot or heavy-based frying pan. Cook the zucchini, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper over medium to high heat, for approximately 8-10 minutes, stirring every minute or so.

When the zucchini has started to break down and turned slightly mushy, add garlic and chilli. Continue cooking and stirring for roughly another 5 minutes. Once the zucchini is cooked out, stir in the zucchini flowers and set aside.

Add pasta to boiling salted water and cook until al dente (5-8 minutes).

When the pasta is cooked, drain, reserve two ladles of pasta water, and then add pasta and reserved water to zucchini mix. Over high heat, stir all until combined and creamy.

Serve immediately, scattered with Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

@tcb_ben
@carolinemccredie

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