Courgette and Meatball Tagliatelle

Another easy and light pasta supper!
As I wanted to buy the new Microplane spice grinder online, the postage from the UK was waived if I put some additional stuff in my shopping cart. No problem to comply and stock up in the gadget department!

Eventually I decided on Microplane’s spiralizer even though that hype seems already gone again and our supermarkets nowadays carry various spiralized vegetables. Although you have to pay extra attention with the cleaning up of the conical crevice with the razor sharp blades, it works like a charm. In no time you have gone through your favourite veggies and up with evenly shaped ribbons.

Inspired by a recipe on BBC GoodFood that got most its flavour from it pork mince and fennel seed meatballs, I reworked that one to get have the flavour into the courgette itself. We served with our favourite pre-fab beef meatballs, but you can leave them out for a vegetarian version).

The recipe (serves 4)

  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 250g / 8oz meatballs
  • 1 large courgette, spiralized
  • 350g / 12oz. fresh tagliatelle (or 300g / 10oz. dried pasta)
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • large handful parsley, finely chopped
  • parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and soften for 5-8 minutes, then add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
  4. Tip the onion mix into a bowl with the spiralized courgette, mix well and set aside.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in the frying pan, add the meatballs and fry them for about 8 mins, turning occasionally, until almost done and golden brown. Then add the onion/courgette mix back to the pan, and combine to warm through.
  6. In the meantime, cook the fresh pasta in the large pan for 2-3 minutes until al dente (or 1 minute less than the pack instructions if using dried pasta).
  7. Reserving 1 ladle of cooking water, drain the pasta and add it to the frying pan.
  8. Also add the courgette and onion mixture, remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil, the lemon juice, the reserved cooking water, half the lemon zest as well as the chopped parsley in the frying pan and stir until well combined.
  9. Season well and serve, topping the pasta with a generous grating of parmesan and the remaining lemon zest.

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