This is a simple and tasty pasta dish with a twist. That twist comes at the end with the addition of one egg and a sprinkle of lemon zest. The egg should be added raw when the pasta is ready to serve. The heat of the pasta and courgettes cooks the egg slightly, giving it a creamy texture, like a meat-free carbonara sauce. The lemon zest adds an extra kick, and plenty of Parmesan at the end helps to bind everything together.
Preparation time: 40 minutes. Serves 6 as starter or 4 as main course
● 1kg fresh courgettes
● 500g pasta
● 7-8 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
● 2-3 crushed cloves of garlic
● 2-3 anchovy fillets
● Pinch of dry crushed chilli
● Splash of white wine
● 2 handfuls of rock salt
● Table salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
● 1 egg, gently beaten (optional)
● Grated zest of half a lemon (optional)
● Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste
● Wash the courgettes, cut their ends off and slice them into thin rounds.
● Warm the olive oil in a large non stick frying pan together with the garlic, the anchovy fillets, the chilli and some salt and pepper.
● Cook for a minute and add a splash of wine. Leave it to evaporate and add the courgettes.
● Stir well, cover with a lid and leave it to cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes until the courgettes soften.
● Then remove the lid and increase the heat. Leave it to cook for another 5-10 minutes until golden, stirring occasionally.
● While the courgettes cook, fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. When it boils, add a handful of sea salt to the water and drop in the pasta.
● Stir and leave to cook according to the instructions on the packet or until al dente.
● Tip: Just before draining the pasta, remove a cup of the boiling water from the saucepan and put it to one side.
● Drain the pasta and add it to the frying pan with the courgettes over medium heat. If the pan is too small then transfer it into a large bowl.
● Mix thoroughly and slowly add some of the water you put to one side earlier. You will see that the pasta will absorb the liquid, let it absorb it and add more if it still looks dry (it may not need all the water, add as necessary).
● Switch off the heat.
● At this stage you can either serve the pasta with Parmesan cheese on top or add a last twist to it, one egg, slightly beaten, and the grated zest of half a lemon.
● Mix thoroughly and serve immediately with plenty of Parmesan cheese.