Zucchini Flowers Made Easy

During college, I spent a semester in Rome, where I made friends only with vegetable stand operators, the butcher with a giant hairy mole who wanted to do me, and the salami man. Yes, I had a salami man. My school work was alarmingly easy, so I spent most of my energy on dinner. At the time, zucchini flowers were plentiful, and the dollar was good, so they didn't cost $5 a bunch, as they did this morning at the Brooklyn Heights Greenmarket.

Of course, zucchini flowers are incredible when stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies, dipped in a light batter, and deep-fried. But an easier method -- and a good way to stretch them out a bit -- is slicing them in half (north to south), wilting them in a pan, and tossing them with pasta. Start with some garlic that has been very slowly softened in olive oil over low heat, for sweetness, and add plenty of anchovies, some butter, ricotta or cream, or even a few raw egg yolks at the last minute.

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