Occasional recipes: Sautéed Courgettes and Basil with Tagliatelle

Another discovery from that hidden gem, The Essential Pasta Cookbook – but with differences. First, you will notice I do not call it what the book does, Fettuccine with Zucchini and Crisp-Fried Basil, for a number of reasons. 1) We use tagliatelle (though fettucine doesn’t involve eggs so would work for vegans). 2) We call them courgettes. 3) What monster would crisp-fry basil? What on earth is the point of that? Basil au naturel, freshly torn and mixed into the food, is the only way to go.

But other than that … the only word of caution is that this is almost too easy. See the recipe below, or just take my word for it: you grate the courgettes (1 per person) and fry them with as much crushed garlic as you can take, in plenty of butter, and you can do all of this from beginning to end in the time it takes the pasta (75g per person) to cook. But, you still need to be fairly sharpish because it’s quite easy for tagliatelle to overcook to the point where it slithers out of the holes in the colandar – not the best look.

It goes without saying that rather than perpetrate any atrocities involving oil upon a few innocent basil leaves, you shred them at the end and mix them in with the pasta and the courgettes. Then leave to mature in the pan while you enjoy your G&T. Scatter with the parmesan just before eating.