Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Pasta with courgettes and balsamic vinegar

A pasta dish which contains courgettes that have been enlivened with balsamic vinegar, tossed with noodles and pine nuts. 

Ingredients

  • 1 Shallot onion
  • 2 Courgettes (sliced)
  • 2 Tablespoons of pine nuts
  • 1 Tablespoon of chopped parsley (preferably fresh)
  • 3 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 100g-150g Dried tagliatelle
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil 
  • Optional parmesan cheese
  • Optional fresh garlic clove

Directions

  1. Peel and finely chop the onion and optional garlic and thinly slice the courgettes. If you have fresh parsley chop this as well.
  2. Boil some water and pour over the tagliatelle and cook gently in a large pan, checking every now and then.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the pine nuts and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes. 
  4. Then add the onion and garlic, cook over a gentle heat for a couple of minutes to soften. Add the courgettes and parsley and increase the heat. 
  5. Cook, stirring for about 4 minutes until just beginning to brown. Add 1 tablespoon of balsamic  and fry the components in the balsamic for a minute or two. Take out 4 whole cougettes and set to one side(for topping). Then cut a few of the others into chunks (so that they mix in better).
  6. Drain the cooked pasta and mix in the courgettes, onion, garlic and pine nuts. Mix in other two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and serve in to two bowls. 
  7. Place the four courgette slices on top, two on each and sprinkle with optional parmesan cheese and add a fresh parsley leaf or a teaspoon of dried parsley to garnish. You many want to add another teaspoon of balsamic if you want it to be strong but do be careful a it can override the other flavours. 

Notes and Recommendations

Pasta - First of all I do think that tagliatelle is the best pasta for this dish, the thick ribbons work so much better with the balsamic than spaghetti. Dried pasta would be better as it would then make the recipe vegan as well. 
Parsley - Always try to use fresh, I know getting hold of fresh parsley isn't as easy as it sounds and then there is the hassle of it turning very quickly. But for the appearance and the taste of this dish it makes a massive difference. You are not going to get the same look by using the dried version of the herb and the flavour will not be as strong.

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