I may be joining the obligatory ‘courgette glut’ moaning, but I actually love courgettes (or zucchini). So I have not been troubled by eating them day after day, and have quite enjoyed trying out new ideas. Here are some of them.
Tagliatele coated in an egg yolk-pecorino sauce with grilled or fried courgettes and pine nuts. This was really lovely. Use more cheese than you would have hoped – parmesan is suitable, but we prefer pecorino. It’s salty so don’t add any more, but be generous with pepper. Directions: chop or grate two courgettes (for two people), salt, drain, rinse and dry. Using a large pan, bring water to boil and cook tagliatele until only just done. Drain and put the courgettes into the pan with a little olive oil, then cook until lightly browned. Add the pinenuts and toss for a minute. Add two beaten egg yolks, pepper, and a BIG handful of grated cheese. Add the cooked pasta, turn heat to medium, and stir well until it’s all warm and melty. Dish up, sprinkle with parsley or extra cheese.
Jamie Oliver has a recipe with bacon (as traditional) in it, here.
CHARGRILLED VEG FOCACCIA
This is gorgeous! Just fine on its own or great with the carbonara. (based on the recipe here.) Prepare focaccia dough or use a shop focaccia, sliced horizontally. Chop some mediterranean veg (courgettes, aubergine, tomatoes, red onions) and toss with a little olive oil, rosemary and salt and pepper. Spread on a tray and put under a hot grill, turning, until browned. Put in bowl to cool. Add crumbled feta (or mozzarella). Spread mixture over half the focaccia, top with the second half, press down, and bake until hot and bubbly. (OR if making with dough, roll out half into a round, add topping, roll second half, brush edges with water and seal together. Dimple top of dough, brush with olive oil. Bake on high heat until golden.)
COURGETTES STUFFED WITH PEA RISOTTO
Cut courgettes lengthways, and spoon out some of the flesh. Put the shells into the oven to bake while you make the risotto. Prepare risotto as usual (butter, courgette flesh, onion, 150g rice, glass white wine, veg stock, stir, add peas, stir) until just-cooked. Press it into the courgette halves, dot with butter and cover with pecorino. Bake until golden and bubbly.
COURGETTE RAGU (RAGOUT)
I made a version of Ragu loosely based on the one at Cooking Light (here). No mushrooms, and I substituted the olive paste with a little sundried tomato paste – and a glass of white wine went in before the tomatoes. I omitted the spinach from the potato (cooked some, but it was too tough) and stirred the cheese into the mash instead of putting it on top. This is a strange combination but it tasted fantastic! Perfect for a grey summer day.