July 31, 2013

Pasta with Yellow Courgettes, Pine Nuts, Mint & Preserved Lemon

If wish these beautiful courgettes and patty pans would come from our garden. Unfortunately, the courgettes that we have on our plants seem to rot before reaching an even decent size. Any idea why this might be?

Luckily, there’s plenty of choice at the farmers market at the moment: shopping there every week is such a feast for the eyes and the palate. I have to use self control to restrain myself from buying all the vegetables on display!

This dish has got a bit of a Middle-Eastern twist, with the use of the mint, preserved lemon and sumac. Back in the winter I remember watching ‘Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Feast’ programme and it really inspired me to use flavours from the Mediterranean in my cooking. I topped up the dish with sumac (easily available in health food stores/ethnic shops). Sumac is a small shrub, which fruit can be dried and ground into a tangy crimson spice.

Pasta with Yellow Courgettes, Pine Nuts, Mint & Preserved Lemon – serves 4
• 320g spelt or wholemeal pasta
• 2tbsp light olive oil
• 4 yellow courgettes (or yellow patty pans), thinly sliced
• 2tbsp pine nuts
• ½ preserved lemon, finely chopped
• Juice of ½ lemon
• A handful of mint, chopped
• 4tbsp sumac (optional but delicious)

1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instruction. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the courgettes and fry gently until they are soft and cooked through (5-10min). Place the pine nuts in a small oven dish and place them in the oven for 5-10min until fragrant and golden (be careful not to let them burn).
3. Add the pine nuts, preserved lemon, lemon juice and mint to the courgettes and mix. Drain the pasta and dish it out into plates or bowls. Top up with the courgettes and sprinkle with a tablespoon of sumac.

Pâtes aux Courgettes Jaunes, Pignons de Pin, Menthe & Citron Confit – pour 4 personnes
• 320g de pâtes d’épeautre ou complètes
• 2cs d’huile d’olive légère
• 4 courgettes jaunes (ou pâtissons jaunes), coupées en fines rondelles
• 2cs de pignons de pin
• ½ citron confit, émincé
• Jus d’½ citron
• Une poignée de menthe, hachée
• 4cs de sumac (optionnel mais délicieux)

1. Cuire les pâtes selon les instructions du paquet. Préchauffer le four sur 180°C.
2. Pendant ce temps, faire chauffer l’huile d’olive dans une grande poêle. Ajouter les courgettes and faire revenir doucement jusqu’à ce qu’elles soient cuites (5-10min). Mettre les pignons dans un petit plat à four et les mettre au four pour 5-10min jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient dorés (sans les laisser bruler).
3. Ajouter les pignons de pin, le citron confit, le jus de citron et la menthe aux courgettes. Egoutter les pâtes et les servir dans des assiettes ou bols. Ajouter les courgettes sur le dessus et parsemer dune cuillérée de sumac.

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