This courgette recipe using the ear-shaped Italian pasta Orecchiette is a great one to try if you fancy something different for your week night dinner. This recipe is also meat free so it’s a great option if you’re entertaining a vegetarian or are just trying to cut back on your meat consumption this week.
Courgettes are packed with vitamins and are a great source of dietary fibre, while soya beans are a great source of protein, iron and calcium. Garlic, basil and lemon also help to flavour this dish too so it’s really fragrant.
This recipe serves four so it’s a great one to try if you’re wanting to fill up the whole family on a budget.
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 2 large courgettes, thinly sliced
- juice 1-2 lemons, plus a little zest
- 350g (12oz) orecchiette pasta
- 200g (7oz) frozen soya beans
- 250g (9oz) bocconcini mozzarella
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 100g (4oz) hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- large handful basil leaves
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the courgettes on both sides until golden and caramelised. You might need to do this in batches as they need to brown properly to taste their best. Drain in a sieve and scatter over some sea salt and a little of the lemon juice while they’re hot.
Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions, and add the soya beans for the last 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and mix through with the other ingredients (the heat from the pasta will cook the garlic slightly), season then add the rest of the lemon juice to taste. Serve immediately, while the cheese is melting.
Top Tip for making Courgette and Hazelnut Orecchiette with Mozzarella
Bocconcini means "small mouthfuls" in Italian – bocconcini mozzarella is simply smaller, bite-sized balls of the cheese. If you prefer, you can use ordinary mozzarella, torn up.