“Courgetti with Pistachio, Green Herbs and Ricotta” from “A Modern Way to Cook”

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I know! It looks JUST LIKE spaghetti but it’s actually courgettes! It’s like magic!

Look at that! I’ve jumped on the culinary bandwagon and made courgetti. My 2015 is complete.

For those of you not paying attention or living under a rock, courgetti– spaghetti made out of courgettes– is all the rage these days. Several of the cookbooks we’ve featured in the past year, including the Hemsley sisters and Ella Woodward, have sung the praises of courgetti. I was skeptical, to say the least.

One of the main reasons I resisted is because the easiest way to make of courgetti is to buy spiralizer, a special kitchen gadget.  Believe me, I’m not one to shy away from new kitchen gadgets. I love them. In fact, at the moment, I’m trying to figure out a way to justify buying this amazing and beautiful walnut and maple ravioli rolling pin. (Suggestions welcome in the comments). But I just didn’t think a spiralizer would be worth the investment, given that they cost about £25,  would take up a good deal of room in my kitchen cabinets, and I wasn’t sure how often I would use it.

But then I read Anna Jones’s opening suggestion, where she told me you could buy a hand-held julienne peeler, which is much cheaper (£3.55 at Lakeland) and takes up much less space. When I found it at Lakeland,  I was so pleased about it I actually texted Anna and Kirstin from the store to tell them I had found a solution to my lack-of-spiralizer problem. It turns out that Kirstin did exactly the same thing.

Not surprisingly, making spaghetti out of courgettes did take some time, but I think it was time well spent, given how healthy courgetti is, especially when compared to the usual spaghetti.

This is a very long-winded way of saying that it was delicious, at least this version was. The boys agreed, saying that it was much better than they thought it would be (high praise, given their low expectations). The proof of everyone’s enjoyment could be found in the empty serving bowl at the end of dinner.

Would I make it again? I would indeed. Highly recommended.

If you’d like to make this yourself, click through this paragraph to find the recipe in Sainsbury’s Magazine.

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“Courgetti with Pistachio, Green Herbs and Ricotta” from “A Modern Way to Cook”

“Raw courgette, rocket and ricotta pasta salad” from “Bill’s Italian”

I made this quickly one lunch time for a friend. It was totally delicious but what was a very pleasant surprise, was that I was able to have it as leftovers for several days. Beautiful soft ricotta combined with raw courgette. And the addition of the zested lemon mixed with the chilli was just perfect.

 

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“Raw courgette, rocket and ricotta pasta salad” from “Bill’s Italian”

“Pork Loin with Parma Ham & Oregano” and “Spinach baked with Ricotta & Nutmeg” from “Nigellissima””

Anna: I’m sorry we’re eating a bit later than I planned. The crackling took a lot longer than I thought it would.

Judy: But it was delicious and we could nibble on it while we waited for the main course. I have been very careful not to crack my teeth.

Anna: I also have another confession, which is that I’ve screwed up the spinach. In my head I thought we needed marscapone, which I had already. So I’ve had to use it rather than ricotta, which I don’t have. I think it’s going to be very runny.

Judy: I like undercooked eggs.

John: It looks set to me.

Anna: I guess it has set, it just isn’t quite what it should be.

Judy: Well it’s delicious and goes with the pork perfectly. No carbs required!

Anna: This pork is very good isn’t it?

Judy: It’s delicious! The flavours are so fresh. I can tasted the garlic and the oregano. Wonderful! John, you will have to get me this cookbook for my birthday.

“Pork Loin with Parma Ham & Oregano” and “Spinach baked with Ricotta & Nutmeg” from “Nigellissima””

“Chorizo, Spinach and Ricotta Frittata” from “Fast, Fresh, Simple”

Sorry, I don’t have any dialogue for you today as I made this for my lunch and I tend to eat alone. Not for any Greta Garbo sort of way, but just because that’s where I found myself that day. In fact, she never said, “I want to be alone” and instead said, “I want to be left alone.” Garbo later said, “There is all the difference.” Indeed.

But I digress. I can tell you that I enjoyed this dish so much that I have now eaten it for lunch twice. It is a whole lot of good eating in one little skillet. For the record, I never added the sage leaves it called for– I had them, I just kept fogetting to add them– but I don’t think that oversight left the dish wanting. Also, I didn’t have any single cream to hand, so I used milk, which also worked. I imagine the cream would make it an even richer dish, but it seems pretty good as it is, so I don’t know if its use is entirely necessary.

I didn’t think it would work to cook the spinach with the chorizo, as I usually cook down spinach with water. It did work, though, and it worked a treat. I will remember this trick when I make other dishes with spinach in the future.

Again, because I was eating alone, I cut the quantities down to make it for one person. It could very easily be scaled up, in which case you’d need to share the whole skillet of goodness, which might be difficult for some people.

I would definitely make this again, especially for a weekend breakfast or brunch, though lunch on my own was equally nice. I’m pleased to say that all the timings worked for this recipe.

“Chorizo, Spinach and Ricotta Frittata” from “Fast, Fresh, Simple”

“Spaghetti with ricotta and herbs” from “Good Things To Eat”

Andrew (11): Well, this is interesting.

Tim: Do you mean interesting good or interesting bad?

Andrew: Interesting bad.

Maureen: Why?

Andrew: There’s too much rocket. It gives it too much flavour.

Tim (sarcastically): It’s green! Green is bad! Green means vegetables or salad!

Continue reading ““Spaghetti with ricotta and herbs” from “Good Things To Eat””

“Spaghetti with ricotta and herbs” from “Good Things To Eat”

“Peas, broad beans and ricotta on toast” from “Good Things to Eat”

Kirstin: This recipe is the reason I bought this book. I thought that if somebody chose to do a chapter on “things on toast”, and could make it look so nice, the least I could do was buy the book. And that was absolutely yum.

Tom: It was indeed. We made extra slices it was so good.

Kirstin: You did that thing where you don’t talk when you’re eating. Which is always a sure sign that it’s yummy.

Tom: Yup, it takes a lot to shut me up.

Kirstin: That’s true.

Tom: And that was really good. I loved the garlic — was it just scraped on the toast?

Continue reading ““Peas, broad beans and ricotta on toast” from “Good Things to Eat””

“Peas, broad beans and ricotta on toast” from “Good Things to Eat”

“Baked orecchiette with sausage and cavolo nero” from “Bill’s Basics”

Anna: I’ve wanted to do this recipe since I first read this book cover to cover.  With a cup of tea.

Kirstin: It’s a bit like sausage sauce on Fridays.  This looks really yummy.  I can’t wait to eat this.  I couldn’t find any orecchiette on Ocado, but then I found my lucky packet in the cupboard.

Anna: Your emergency packet?  Like your emergency Creme Egg?  I am feeling very smug, for my search for cavolo nero paid off this morning.  I hunted it down in the Foodhall at John Lewis.  Hurrah!!

Continue reading ““Baked orecchiette with sausage and cavolo nero” from “Bill’s Basics””

“Baked orecchiette with sausage and cavolo nero” from “Bill’s Basics”