A Trio of Summer Pasta Recipes

PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI, BOTTARGA AND LEMON ZEST

handmade ravilio on a board

Serves 4 as a main course

Preparation time: 10 mins. Cooking time: 15 mins

This is a great Sicilian summer pasta recipe using Bottarga – dried mullet or tuna roe. It is a very subtle flavour, [think in terms of taramasalata]. You can substitute ricotta if you can’t find bottarga. The mint adds a freshness to the sauce. But basil works equally well. The lemon zest keeps the flavour fresh.

Ingredients:

  • 650g [1lb 7oz]– 3 large zucchini [courgettes], washed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 large red chilli, finely chopped [optional]
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 small bunch of mint or basil, coarsely chopped or teared
  • 50g [2oz] bottarga, freshly grated + extra for topping
  • 200g ricotta [optional]
  • Salt and pepper
  • 400g pasta such as spaghetti

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, season well with salt.

Thinly slice the zucchini, pour the oil into a large frying pan or saucepan, preferably with a lid and cook the zucchini on a medium high heat until lightly browned and soft, about 15 – 20 mins. The lid will make it quicker to cook. Season with salt and pepper and when half way through cooking, add the garlic to cook and soften.

Prepare the chilli, lemon zest, mint and bottarga.

When the courgettes are half way through cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water, mix well to prevent any strands from sticking together. When the zucchini are cooked, set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, add the chilli, lemon zest, mint, bottarga, salt and pepper to the zucchini and mix well. The bottarga slightly melts and becomes quick creamy in consistency. Add a dash of the pasta water to loosen and mix the ingredients well. When the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta, reserving a cup full of the water and pour back into the saucepan off the heat.

Add the zucchini sauce and ricotta if using to the pasta, mix well and add some of the water to loosen the sauce and prevent it being too thick and glue like.

Check for seasoning, then serve straight away with a little extra bottarga grated on top ensuring each plate has enough sauce before handing out. The first plate always has less sauce than the last!


LEMON AND PARMESAN PASTA

Serves 4

This simple dish requires very little skill but it tastes so amazing. It is my favourite pasta recipe, probably because it always reminds me of a dear Italian friend who made this dish when all we had lots of lemons for a cocktail party and a block of Parmesan in the fridge. It was hard to believe that a dish so delicious could be created with so few ingredients. Just make sure you use good quality ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 100g freshly grated Parmesan ‘Reggiano’
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 400g [14oz] dried linguine pasta or fresh egg pasta
  • 100g [3.5 oz] unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper

Grate the parmesan and mix with the lemon zest and pepper. Make sure you just remove the yellow zest and not the white pith beneath.

Cook the pasta in lots of well salted water until it is al dente. Fresh egg pasta takes just a minute . Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place back in the saucepan.

Add the butter and a little salt. Mix the butter with the pasta and once it has melted add the parmesan and zest. Mix well into the pasta and serve immediately.


PASTA FILLING WITH FRESH HERBS

Serves 8

Filling:

  • 1lb [500g] fresh ricotta
  • 4 large tablespoons of fresh herbs: such as flat leaf parsley, basil, mint, marjoram, oregano and thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of Parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Coarsely chop the herbs and mix them in a bowl with all the other ingredients. Fill the ravioli with this stuffing and serve with melted unsalted butter or fresh tomato sauce.

Recipes by Stirred’s Chef Sophie Braimbridge.

Like the sound of these summer pasta recipes? Learn more great Italian cooking secrets on one of our cooking courses.

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