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Seared Courgettes with Pasta & Blue Cheese

Courgettes can sometime be a little bland, but searing them in hot oil caramelises the sugars, giving them falvour and colour. the great thing about this dish is it doesn't matter if you burn the courgettes a little, in fact, I'd encourage you to make sure you have a few black bits.


120g wholewheat pasta – I use penne

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 small, firm courgettes – cut into random shaped chunks

4 cloves garlic – finely chopped

50g walnuts – roughly broken

150ml double cream

70g blue cheese – I used Dolcelatte

Chili flakes (optional)

A few sage leaves

Sea salt

Black pepper

Bring a pan of water to the boil, then add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes or so until al dente

Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water

Take a large frying pan and heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over a medium-to-high flame

When very hot, add the courgette chunks and fry on all sides until charred

Turn off the heat and add the garlic and walnuts (and chili flakes if using), and stir until the garlic has cooked. The residual heat in the pan should cook the garlic without it burning

Add the drained pasta to the pan, along with the cream and approx. 50ml of the pasta cooking water and place over a low heat

Tear the cheese into small chunks and dot over the dish

Heat the grill

Take a small frying pan, add the rest of the olive oil and place over a medium heat. When hot, fry the sage leaves until crispy. Remove and place on kitchen paper

Put the pan with the pasta in under the grill until the cheese starts to melt and bubble and the pasta and sauce is hot

Scatter the crisp fried sage leaves over before serving