Creative with courgettes

July 3, 2011

I was inducted into veg boxing at the Wild Carrot last week. Aside from the wonderful looking watermelons, it was the plump courgettes that took my fancy most. You can make splendid raw pasta in seconds with them, especially if you are lucky enough to own a nifty, inexpensive, manual gadget called a spiraliser. If not, use a mandolin or veg. peeler to create long strips.

Of course, you need also need the know-how to make a great tomatoe sauce. Here’s my favourite no-cook recipe – absolutely perfect for a quick summer meal. Have fun.

Pasta Marinara
(serves 1)

I large courgette
Handful of fresh broad beans (optional)
1 large, ripe tomato
6 sun-dried tomatoes (rehydrated), use soak water
1/2 red pepper
2 tbsp good quality olive oil
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Tsp dried oregano
1/2 clove garlic
Black pepper
Dash of cayenne
A few Kalamata olive & pine nuts, to garnish

1. Spiralise the courgette (or use a mandolin to create long thin, strips). Set aside
2. Blanche the broad beans for 2 miins in hot water, if using, and add to ‘pasta’. It’s worth the effort to double-depod them to reveal the vibrant green colour and soft texture
3. Put everything else into a food processor, or small blender cup and blitz until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, if required
4. In a mixing bowl, spoon sauce over pasta and mix in with tongs or chopsticks. Leave for 5 mins. The sauce will soften the pasta
5. Plate up, scattering pine nuts, and black kalamata olives over the top to garnish and add extra umph

Note: Turnips or aquash also make good pasta

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