Wednesday, 10 August 2011

spaghetti with crispy courgette and lemon

An old friend's request for more innovative ideas with courgettes sparked me to adapt a recipe that I've made lots of times with aubergine. The dish- very tasty- preceded an evening 'in' with Ruth and the two older boys, watching a movie called 'Monster'. I don't recall ever hearing any hype about it but one of the testimonials on the cover said believe the hype! Several national newspapers had reputedly awarded it with 5 stars but omitted to saying how many this was out of. Perhaps it went straight to DVD. Anyway, it wasn't especially good but did have some gruesome then cute alien monsters that were really just giant octopus. Which leads me to my point: not to be disrespectful to an important piece of cinema history but to suggest that this recipe might be really nice with some thin slivers of octopus or calamari.

Serves 2 or 3
  • 350g of spaghetti (I go for Value spaghetti since it is 20p for 500g and nobody has ever complained)
  • 2 or 3 medium courgettes cut into sticks (julienned if you can add ed to a french word to infer past tense)
  • a little flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • a small red chilli, seeded and finely sliced
  • a small onion, finely chopped
  • a clove of garlic, finely sliced
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon with some of the zest of the lemon finely sliced
  • a handful of rocket (could be replaced with flat leaf parsley)
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • sea salt
This dish requires a little bit of multi tasking so it's a little difficult to step by step
  1. sprinkle a little salt over the julienne courgettes and set aside in a colander over the sink for 15 minutes or so
  2. bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook spaghetti by the instructions on the packet
  3. heat oil about 1/2 an inch deep over a moderate heat
  4. pat the courgette dry between paper towels and dredge in the seasoned flour, shaking off any extra flour
  5. fry the courgette until it just begins to colour (any more and they will become unpalatable). I did mine in 2 batches since a smaller pan makes the oil deeper. They do keep their crisp nicely for long enough. When the sticks are cooked remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towel
  6. in a large pan, gently colour the onion in the butter, before adding the garlic and rocket (this can be done when the spaghetti is put in since it will sit for a few minutes off the heat, rocket wilting rather than cooking. If using parsley, add towards the end)
  7. when the spaghetti is cooked, drain and add to the onion pan, returning it to a gentle heat for a few minutes. Squeeze the lemon over the spaghetti and season with salt and pepper, to taste
  8. turn the spaghetti into a large warmed dish, piling the courgette on top and finishing with the chilli and lemon zest
  9. and this is entirely optional... I sprinkled the finished dish with nasturtium just for some colour (they don't really taste of anything)
Finally: if you pile with parmesan as I tend do do with all things spaghetti, be careful as the flavours in this dish are quite delicate :)


  1. will,you had a great blog,and thanks for visit and join my blog , these spaghetti sound good,i like crunchy food :)

  2. thanks, your food looks delicious too