Italian Job
Your Home and Garden|March 2019
Italian Job

Add pizazz to your pasta with plenty of herbs, in-season vegetables and the freshest ingredients around. Buon appetito!

SPICY COURGETTE & RICOTTA PASTA SHELLS

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

3 medium courgettes, coarsely grated

320g firm ricotta

80g finely grated parmesan

50g roasted pine nuts

3 egg yolks

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 Tbsp fresh lemon thyme leaves

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

5 cups passata (tomato pasta sauce)

250g large pasta shells

½ cup loosely packed fresh small oregano leaves

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lightly oil a shallow 2.5-litre ovenproof dish.

2 Combine grated courgette, ricotta, most of the parmesan (reserve 3 Tbsp for later), nuts, egg yolks, garlic, thyme and chilli in a medium bowl. Season well.

3 Spread pasta sauce into the dish and season. Spoon the courgette mixture into the uncooked pasta shells then place in the dish.

4 Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for about a further 15 minutes or until pasta is tender and cheese is browned lightly. Serve pasta sprinkled with oregano and reserved parmesan.

TIP Serve with a green salad.

SEMI-DRIED TOMATO, PEA & BOCCONCINI PASTA

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

375g penne pasta

120g frozen peas

340g semi-dried tomatoes in oil (available from some supermarket delis and specialty food stores; or use sundried tomatoes instead)

4 bocconcini (small mozzarella balls), torn cup loosely packed fresh small basil leaves

1 Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water for about 8 minutes or until tender. Add peas and return to the boil then drain, reserving 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid.

2 Meanwhile, drain tomatoes, reserving 2 Tbsp of the oil from the jar or container.

3 Return pasta and peas to pan with reserved cooking liquid, tomatoes, reserved oil and torn bocconcini; stir gently to combine. Season to taste. Serve topped with basil.

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March 2019