Summertime brings the onset of sweet, succulent melons, and one of our family’s favorite recipes is this surprisingly fresh tasting Spaghetti with Melon pasta. Pasta with melon might sound like an unlikely combination, but this dish is REALLY good. While on our European extravaganza trip, we stopped off to visit our friends Mike Yourison and Dr. Suzy Steelman in Umbria. They were kind enough to invite us to stay at their beautiful hilltop home, so the least we could do was to make dinner. They graciously accepted and thought it would be nice to invite a few of their Italian friends. We ended up having a wonderful evening with 15 people in attendance.
Giuliano thought it would be fun to make this dish and have the Italians guess what was in it. Many thought of squash due to the color, a couple thought pineapple and we had one person who guessed strawberry. After numerous tries, someone finally came up with the correct answer.
The origins of this dish are unknown. Giuliano found it when he went to a restaurant in Venice that specialized in unusual dishes, none of which were seafood or risotto, the staples of Venetian cuisine. Although the restaurant is no longer there he did remember this delicious dish of pasta with cantaloupe. Marcella started making it at home and now Giuliano often makes it when we have friends over. Once it is cooked, the melon is mostly unrecognizable and it’s great fun seeing if people can guess what the sauce’s “secret” ingredient is. The freshness of the dish is soothing on a hot evening and takes full advantage of the bounty of summer.