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How to prepare pasta with zucchini, botarga and lemon peel

Pasta with courgettes, bottarga and lemon zest

NUTRITION: PER SERVING
CALORIES:  582KCALS
FAT:  18.8G (6.7G SATURATED)
PROTEIN:  22.7G
CARBOHYDRATES:  77G (6.4G SUGARS)
FIBRE:  7G
SALT:  0.2G

Ingredients
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
650g (about 3 large) courgettes, sliced 2-3mm thick lengthways
2 garlic cloves, chopped
400g spaghetti
1 large red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
Finely grated zest 2 lemons
Small bunch fresh basil or mint, coarsely chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish (optional)
50g bottarga (see food team’s tip) freshly grated, plus extra for topping; if you can’t find bottarga, use fresh ricotta instead

Method
Bring a large pan of salted water to a rapid boil. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the courgettes on a medium-high heat until lightly browned and soft (15-20 minutes), adding the garlic for the last 5 minutes. Season well.
When the courgettes are halfway through cooking, add the spaghetti to the boiling water, stir well to prevent any strands from sticking together, then boil until cooked with a little bite.
Meanwhile, add the chilli (if using), lemon zest, herbs, bottarga and salt and pepper to the cooked courgettes – off the heat – and mix well. The bottarga will melt and become quite creamy. Add a dash of the pasta water to loosen and mix the ingredients well. When the pasta is ready, drain, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid, and tip the pasta back into the pan off the heat.
Add the courgette sauce to the pasta, mix well and add some of the water to loosen the sauce and prevent it becoming claggy. Taste and add seasoning, if needed, then serve straightaway with a little extra bottarga grated on top and fresh herbs, if you like.

delicious. tips
Bottarga is available online from The Fish Society and Amazon, and from good Italian delicatessens.

Once you’ve divided the pasta among the plates, check the first ones have as much sauce as the last – they usually don’t!

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