I was amazed when I couldn’t find this recipe in any of my on-line files as it is always a favourite when, as now, courgettes are popping out of the polytunnel almost daily (remember I am in Orkney where the plants definitely need cover to grow). I then checked High Fibre, High Flavour (pub 2000 – 20 years ago!) and found it there, worthily made with homemade wholewheat pasta. It would be true to say that I seldom actually do that for us… This is a simple description of a delicious dish.
Print the recipe here
• Walnut pieces or halves
• Olive oil and butter
• Spaghetti, linguine or the pasta of your choice
• Parmesan and fresh parsley or basil
1. Fill a large saucepan with water, cover and start to bring to the boil.
2. Roughly chop some walnuts then dry-fry them, stirring often, while slicing the courgettes. Don’t forget them!
3. Trim, then finely slice the courgettes and finely chop the garlic.
4. Turn the nuts onto a plate. Add a splash of olive oil to the same frying pan with a knob of butter and heat them together. Add the courgettes and garlic with plenty of salt and black pepper, and stir-fry over a moderate heat.
5. Immediately add some salt to the boiling water with the pasta and cook as directed. Finely grate some Parmesan and chop or tear the fresh herbs if you have them.
6. By the time the pasta is nearly cooked the courgettes should be well softened.
7. Drain the pasta, then combine it with the courgettes, the chopped nuts, some grated Parmesan and seasonings and toss together well. Serve garnished with a little extra Parmesan and some chopped herbs if you have them.
• Whenever you cook and drain pasta to add to a sauce, always try to catch a little of the cooking water in the saucepan. I always pour the pasta and water into the colander in the sink then pick it up quickly and set it over the pan to finish draining and to capture the required splash or two of water. That liquid added to your pasta sauce – or, in this case, the courgettes, is the secret of the pasta and sauce truly blending (or maybe sticking) together.
• Quantities of ingredients required – or available – will vary. Just go for it!
• I originally wrote this for courgettes and hazelnuts but I have one or two friends who are allergic to the latter, so walnuts are my default choice now.