I arrived at Mums for a visit, and the first thing she did was take me outside to pick a fresh courgette from her garden, ready for dinner. We then went for a walk to the local shops to buy wine to go with the dinner – she has her priorities right. It was a perfect courgette. In the following photo it is the one in the front. This photo was taken literally 5-minutes after the courgette was picked.
This recipe is really quick and easy to make, and it is very tasty. Another advantage is that few dishes are created in the process, as the equipment is only a pan, pot, grater, chopping board, and utensils. Because courgettes do not keep long, this is a great recipe to use up lots of courgettes, especially when the plants in the garden produce so many all at once.
Mum used real bacon and I had “not-bacon”, which is a soy alternative that looks like rashers of bacon (every non-vegetarian who has tried this, loves it). This meant that we had two separate pans on the stove top, one for the vegetarian and one for the non-vegetarian.
As another vegetarian option, and an alternative to using the ‘not-bacon’, fry some chopped up mushrooms in a pan and stir through the cooked pasta, sprinkle with feta cheese and toasted pine-nuts.
COURGETTE AND BACON PASTA
(for vegetarians and non-vegetarians)
1 ½ cups of pasta (we used spighe)
2-3 medium courgettes
4 rashers of bacon (or not-bacon) (could also use chorizo sausage)
3 cloves of garlic
Butter (20 grams)
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
Chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
Boil a pot of water, and cook the pasta.
Grate courgette. Lots of juice will run off, this is fine, do not squeeze it off.
Cut up the bacon into small pieces and fry in butter. To make this into a vegetarian dish, use “not bacon” and fry in a separate pan.
Chop garlic into small pieces and divide the amount between the bacon and the vegetarian dish. Let brown, then add chilli flakes.
Add courgette (no need to squeeze off the juice), divide between bacon and not bacon pans.
Add a generous amount of butter. Add salt and pepper. Let the courgette cook, and then add a splash of olive oil, and another chunk of butter, just before serving.
Drain the pasta and set aside. Then when ready, add the pasta straight into the pans of bacon (or not bacon) and courgette.
Plate up and garnish with parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.
This is nice with a red wine (we had Merlot).
Note the cute leaf shapes of the spighe pasta. The photo is of the dish containing the ‘not-bacon’.
Now, a few words about Mum’s recipe. It is handwritten and stuck into the recipe scrapbook labelled number 3. In her words, it is ‘vague’, with wording such as “however much”, “as much as liked”, “about”, “to taste”, “lots added at end of cooking”. This created all sorts of questions from me as to specifics of the recipe, so I have adapted the recipe (as above) to make some of it clearer. Mum got the recipe off her twin sister, so I guess it could be some sort of code that only they know.
The previous time we made the recipe I had asked how she determined “however much” pasta to use, and the reply was “I suppose, this much, maybe I put in a bit more, or a shake more and by the time it’s done it will be ok”. And it was.
Here is Mum’s original recipe from the recipe scrapbook.