It’s incredible how you can produce two completely different dishes – a healthy green salad for example, and a hearty rich creamy pasta – with almost the same ingredients. Here are two alternatives, both using courgettes, and both excellent.
Goodie-goodie courgette salad – much better than it sounds
As part of my exhaustive experimentation with the not-spiraliser I found myself with some very courgette-tasting cold ‘spagetti’. What to serve it with without spoiling the spirit of the healthiness of it? It needs a herb, basil if somewhere hot, and mint if somewhere more northerly; some cheese, hard or ricotta is better for you than soft; and maybe a little fennel for lift and freshness.
- 1 courgette (spiralised – use an ordinary julienne peeler which you can buy for a fiver)
- 1 bulb of fennel, fronds reserved for garnish and then finely sliced
- Juice and zest of half a lime
- 55g/2 oz/½ cup shaved or grated pecorino
- 10 basil leaves, finely torn
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Smoked salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a non-metalic bowl mix the courgette and fennel
- Make the dressing with the oil, lime juice and zest and the seasoning
- Mix the basil leaves and pecorino into the courgette and fennel mix
- Dress, and garnish with the fennel fronds
Naughty pasta – spaghetti with heart-attack inducing creamy sauce
Or, of course, if you are catering for younger appetites you can always revert and serve all simply chopped and warmed with hot, real pasta.
If you choose that option use the same ingredients as above but substitute 120 ml/½ a cup of double cream for the lime juice, halve the oil, and cook 250g/8 oz pasta to soak up the sauce.
Again for two
- Slice the courgettes rather than spiralising them.
- Fry them, together with the fennel in oil.
- Add the basil and seasoning. Add the cream, heat through gently.
- Pour over the pasta and serve with the pecorino
Peas are a good addition to both if you need to pad out a little or add interest.
Next up, interesting compromise pasta.
If you’re making the goodie goodie option, you can listen to Peggy Lee singing Goody Goody.
And if you go for the naughty option you can listen to Porcelain Black singing Naughty Naughty.