A walk! And spaghetti with zucchini and basil

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Already late June! We are out of lockdown in Rome, there are green figs and huge watermelons and lots of cherries in the fruit and veg shops. I can see the hipster bar across the piazza is busy (it has outdoor seating) and it is so nice to hear voices in the streets again. I am still wary so we are not out much, and only with masks, but getting a takeaway pizza after three months was amazing.  It is really great to start seeing a few friends now and then, while maintaining distance. We are all still working from home, going better than expected. Our cloth mask collection is growing.

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Today we actually left our neighbourhood Garbatella for the first time since March, and walked across the river to Marconi to pick up something at a shop. Lots of people out, almost all with masks, but it feels like life is a little more normal. People out on bicycles with their kids, others were chatting on the sidewalks, with patient dogs waiting on leashes, enjoying the lovely sunny weather. So many shops had SALDI signs (sales). It’s a tough time for businesses.

Home again: What to have for lunch? We had lots of leftovers in the fridge, including the fabulous Ottolenghi mushroom lentil ragu,  which we had the other night on spaghetti, but that ragu will feature in a vegetarian moussaka tonight. Yes, a friend is coming for dinner! It is SO NICE to talk to someone in person and not via a computer. We will have drinks on the condominium rooftop terrace, then dinner, all maintaining fresh air and distance.

Anyway, we needed lunch, soon. UK football has started again this weekend, they are playing with empty stadiums but showing games online (with crowd noise dubbed in, it is really odd). This is a big deal for my husband (UK club season ticket holder), who has been doing most of the cooking this spring. So I promised to assemble something. The lone zucchini in the veg drawer, one box of leftover cold spaghetti, hey presto!

Spaghetti with zucchini and basil
2 tbs olive oil
1 zucchini  (if you have 2, even better)
1 clove garlic
leftover spaghetti, about two portions (or cook 180gr dry pasta)
salt, pepper
5-6 basil leaves, torn
parmesan to serve

Wash the zucchini, slice in two lengthwise then slice it into thin half moons. Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan, toss in the zucchini and fry at medium to high heat, not so hot that anything burns but so the zucchini cooks and some get a little golden. Add chopped garlic, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. If you have basil, a few leaves town and added in is great. Once the zucchini has a little colour, add the leftover cold spaghetti  (or pasta of your choice) and keep heating this in the frying pan until it is all hot. Move the pasta and zucchini around so it all gets warm without any zucchini bits burning. Grate some parmesan and voila, lunch in six minutes, just in time for the football game.

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Hope you are all still doing well!