Bold, bright, fun to make, these caramelized courgette and greens are cooked in garlic oil tossed with vibrant peas, fresh herbs and a dash of smoky Mexican chili.
The Mexican Chilli, could be crushed soft and smoky ancho or one with a little more warmth like guajillo, the key flavour is the element of heat and smoke. These dried chillies are often used in soups and stews but here, tossed through the dish, they bring a depth of flavour and healthy addition to these glorious greens as chilis, like this, are known for their anti-inflammatory benefits.
This dish is inspired by summer greens, as this is the perfect time of year for courgettes. The bean based al dente pasta gives texture to the soft and caramelized courgettes and greens creating a very nutritious, simple to make and healthy pasta recipe.
170g ZENB Penne
1 Onion, peeled and roughly sliced
1 courgette, washed and chopped into ½ cm slices
3 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp salt
150g Cooked Peas, frozen or fresh
1 lemon, juice
1 tsp Mexican chili
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Line a baking tray with baking paper and scatter the chopped onions and courgette over the trey as well as the garlic cloves.
Drizzle the vegetables with 2 tbsp of the olive oil and half of the salt and add a couple of tablespoons of water, which stops the vegetables from burning.
Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly golden.
In the meantime, Place the peas into a small bowl with the rest of the oil, remaining salt, chopped herbs, Mexican chili, and lemon juice. Crush the peas with a fork and set aside.
Cook the pasta as the pack instructs and, once cooked, drain away the water.
Take the roasted vegetables from the oven and carefully take the garlic from the tray, peeling away the skins and crushing them into the peas.
Now add the pasta to a large bowl with the peas and roasted vegetables and toss everything to combine.
Serve warm on two plates sprinkled with nutritional yeast and a little extra seasoning as desired.
To make this courgette pasta extra delicious, try the different mexican chillies out there, making sure you get the seasoning just right - don’t forget to be generous with the good quality olive oil. I also like to make some raw courgette ribbons and toss them through the cooled pasta for a really lovely cool salad, with loads of lemon and extra chilli. Just delicious!
Suitable alternatives if you can’t find some ingredients
If you can't find mexican chill, use dried chilli flakes for a dish with even more heat. Make sure you taste the chili first before adding too much as these chilis are notoriously hotter than the smoky mexican varieties If courgettes arent in season double the quantities of onions and greens. If you don’t like coriander, and have the coriander dislike gene, try using parsley instead
What other pasta shapes are best with this recipe?
You can use fusilli pasta in this recipe in place of penne pasta for a very similar end result. Fusilli pasta will give even more texture to the dish - it has the same cooking time and method as penne, so it is a great alternative.
When to best enjoy this recipe?
This recipe is best enjoyed in the summer, when courgettes are at their best and in season. This recipe can be enjoyed hot or cold and is good for lunch or dinner. You could even make a big batch for dinner and enjoy the leftovers cool or heated up for lunch the next day with an extra glug of oil. Batch cooking in this way saves time and can be a great way to have a quick and healthy lunch at home or on the go.
What to eat with this meal?
This healthy pasta dish works well as part of a summer picnic. Enjoy this simple recipe with a selection of salads; like pesto smothered leaves, a selection of dips and hummus, raw courgettes tossed in salt and oil and creamy plant based beans.
In the evening the pasta is better when served hot and accompanied by crispy garlic bread or rosemary focaccia for a very satisfying feast.
What to drink with this meal?
This fresh summer pasta recipe goes well with a crisp white wine, or light summer drinks like elderflower presse or a kombucha spritz. All light and cold drinks will compliment the courgette pasta recipe well and keep you refreshed and cool on a warm summer day or night!
Can this meal be reheated?
This courgette pasta recipe can be reheated one or two days after it has been made. To reheat this healthy pasta recipe, add it to a frying pan with 4-5 tbsp of water and cook it on a medium heat until cooked through for no longer than five minutes. You will feel the pasta softener and the vegetables warm up. Make sure that you do not overcook it or the courgettes will lose their texture.
When the pasta is totally warmed through, serve it, as in the recipe, and drizzle with a little extra olive oil.
How long does this meal last in the fridge?
When this healthy pasta recipe is stored in the fridge in a sealed container it will keep for 4 days in the fridge. Make sure there is not too much excess liquid in the container when it is stored and be sure that it is sealed correctly.
Either enjoy the courgette pasta cold during this time or thoroughly cook through as outlined above.
Can this meal be frozen?
This meal cannot be frozen as the pasta and courgettes do not taste best when they are thawed. Freezing will also drastically change their flavour.
Be sure to cook what you need and be mindful of how much food you need rather than over preparing and having too much left over. If there is anything leftover the courgette pasta can be easily composted.