Though I have created this in the dead of winter and am wrapped up in so many layers an antarctic penguin would overheat just looking at me, this is a great dish for summer!
I’m a pasta obsessive, and the majority of my pasta dishes are heavily tomato sauce based, or are rich and creamy. I find without an explicit sauce, dishes can sometimes taste inconsistent – for example – I enjoy making spaghetti with a variety of antipasti such as artichokes, grilled peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes, add a touch of chilli, garlic, and olive oil, and voila! A fantastic punch of flavour. Every now and then. Maybe every three bites. It’s tremendously difficult to get an even ratio of spaghetti to topping.
This dish, I hope, fixes that problem! The spiralization of the veg makes it combine far more fluidly with the pasta, whilst still keeping it light. Don’t be scared of spiralizing things! You don’t need a machine or arms of steel – I’ve got a little manual spiralizer about the the size of my fist (given to me by a vegan friend who happened to have two) that does the job no problem! If you’ve got the time and energy, you can also simply manually slice the courgette, or even buy pre-made courgetti, many supermarkets now sell this.
I sometimes use lemon juice from a bottle and sometimes from real lemons – whilst I appreciate bottled lemon juice cannot compare to a real lemon, a bottle will last me a much longer time, so unless I plan on using the rind of the lemon for something, I feel I get more use out of a bottle. However, real lemon juice brings even more flavour and freshness to the dish and so I’d recommend it if you can!
Ingredients (for one, double/triple/quadruple as needed)
- 20g pine nuts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small courgette, spiralised and separated (sometimes when you spiralise things they stick together in one swirl, make sure to separate the strands so they can mix with the linguine)
- 60g dried linguine
- 2 tbsp lemon juice or 1-2 squeezed lemons (depending on size and personal preference)
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 40-50g feta, crumbled
- 1 tsp dried basil
- Cracked black pepper
- Boil water in a saucepan, salt, and then add the pasta. Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet.
- At the same time, in a pan, toast the pine nuts with one tablespoon of olive oil. Ensure you keep moving the pine nuts so they don’t burn on one side. After a couple minutes add the garlic, and cook till the pine nuts are lightly browned on both sides.
- Add the courgetti, lemon juice (add this on top of the courgetti, not straight onto the hot pan, otherwise it will spit), a tablespoon of olive oil, and the basil. Gently toss the courgetti with the rest of the ingredients in the pan so they are evenly coated. Season with black pepper – you may want to use salt, however the feta will be salty and so as long as you have salted the pasta dish, there is usually no need. The courgetti normally takes about 4 minutes on the stove to cook thoroughly. About a minute before it is done, add the feta. Continue to gently stir and mix the ingredients.
- When the linguine is done, combine with the courgetti and other ingredients in the pan, and serve with an extra sprinkling of feta and black pepper.