As much as I love growing courgettes in all its variety and colour, I am not a big fan of eating them. I think they are insipid and pretty tasteless, but in its favour, the courgette is a very versatile vegetable, whether baked, deep fried or steamed. I especially like it gridded or shredded. Courgettes also compliment other vegetables like carrots and aubergines, they also have the capacity to take on other flavours very well like tomatoes and spices.
Two of my recent work lunches have been courgette based. On Monday I had a courgette, chilli and chickpea pasta and yesterday, I had a courgette and pesto frittata. But first, let’s focus on the courgette, chilli and chickpea pasta. I so like the simplicity of such dishes. I first made this last year, when I found myself with an abundance of courgettes. Fortunately this year, I am not having that problem.
This is also my contribution towards Pasta Presto Nights # 125 which is being hosted by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast and 4Everykitchen. Every time I have participated in PPN by which it is fondly known, I have found really enjoyable and Ruth has always been a wonderful co-host. PPN has a very simple pre-requisite. The dish must have some sort of noodle, it doesn't even have to be traditional Italian type pasta, it could be rice noodles. The dish can be hot, cold, salad, soup, main, dessert, or anything else. PPN is also a great way to find out about other food bloggers.
Courgette, chilli and chickpea pasta salad
250g pasta, I used penne
2 – 4 tablespoons of cooked cooked chickpeas, slightly crushed
Chilli flakes to taste
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 medium courgette, grated
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Cook pasta according to packet instructions, while this is cooking. Heat olive in a wide pan, add garlic and soften for a couple of minutes, then add chilli flakes and stir to infuse with oil. Then add grated courgette and cook for a couple of minutes. Drain pasta, add to garlicky courgette mix, add the chickpeas and stir. Eat warm or cold.
Courgette and pesto frittata
225g – 250g courgettes, grated
6 medium eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
100g cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of pesto
Beat the eggs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat the oil in a 7 inch frying pan. Add the garlic and fry over low heat for 1 minute, then add the courgettes and turn in garlicky oil for a couple of minutes. Pour the eggs into the pan along with the pesto and stir briefly, continue to cook over the medium heat until set underneath and around the edges. Scatter over the grated cheese and continue to cook over a very low heat until the eggs are set.
Invert a plate over the frying pan and hold both together firm, then turn over so that the frittata is on the plate. Slide the frittata, runny side down, back into the frying pan and continue to cook until set underneath. Serve warm or cold.