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Courgette Ribbon & Ricotta Spaghetti with Lemon Zest

  • Feeds 2 people
  • Prep time 15m
  • Cook time 30m
This dish comes together in the time it takes for the spaghetti to cook so it’s important to have all your ingredients prepared before you go near the stove. Inspired by a Nigel Slater recipe for ricotta orecchiette with broad beans that I read years ago, this dish has developed and become a firm favourite in my house. I love the subtle piquancy of spice verses sour lemon all balanced by the beautiful creaminess of fresh ricotta. Pasta cooked in well-salted water is what holds this dish together and makes a deliciously satisfying, yet light meal. Ingredients 2 tbsp Olive oil 3 Cloves of garlic, finely diced Zest of 1 lemon ¼ tsp Chilli flakes 1 tbsp Salt 150g Spaghetti 1 Large courgette, shaved into thin ribbons using a mandolin, peeler or sharp knife 150g Ricotta Freshly ground black pepper Squeeze of lemon Handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped 2 Courgette flowers, to garnish (optional)
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on a medium-low heat. Add the garlic, lemon zest and chilli flakes. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently and being careful not to let the garlic colour – if it gets too hot take the pan off the heat and stir vigorously to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and season with the salt. Add the spaghetti to the pan and stir from time to time.
  3. Add the courgette to the garlic mix and stir frequently as it sweats. After about five minutes when the courgette is nearly cooked but still has a little bite and texture, turn the heat down and add the ricotta to the pan to gently warm through. Add a few spoonfuls of pasta water to loosen the mixture – this will also help season it. Remove from the heat and test for seasoning, adding a pinch of salt if necessary, a generous grind of black pepper, a squeeze of lemon and a handful of chopped parsley.
  4. When the spaghetti is cooked al dente take a cup of the pasta water and put it to one side, then drain the rest. Mix the spaghetti and sauce thoroughly, loosening it with a little more pasta water, if necessary. Garnish each plate with a courgette flower, if using, and serve immediately.

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