Pasta potatoes and courgettes

Or pasta, potatoes and zucchini, as you prefer.

CIMG3158

Yesterday was one of those days. You know, the days you really, really don’t want to go to the shops but you don’t have anything in the fridge that looks like it will make up a whole meal. I had been fancying pasta with courgettes for a while, but yesterday to my dismay I realised there were only two small courgettes in the fridge. “What goes with courgettes?” I thought. I toyed with the idea of peppers but didn’t really feel inspired by it. Then I spied the potatoes and figured “Why not?”. Be aware that this recipe, intended to make two portions, actually makes three (or two ENORMOUS portions if you are hungry!)

You will need:

200g of penne pasta
2x courgettes (zucchini)
2x medium sized potatoes
2x cloves of garlic
A handful of smoked pancetta bits
1x glass of dry white wine (plus another for each diner of course)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp of pecorino cheese
Black pepper
Salt to taste

1. Finely chop the garlic and cube the courgettes and potatoes.

2. Boil some water in a small pan and toss in the cubed potatoes for par-boiling

3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and gently fry the garlic and pancetta until they brown.

4. Add the courgettes and continue to fry over a low heat. When they begin to soften, add the white wine and a couple of pinches of salt – not much as the pancetta and pecorino cheese are themselves salty.

5. Keeping the hot water, drain the potatoes (they should be almost cooked) and add to the mix, strring well. Bring the water back to the boil, salt, and toss in the pasta.

6. While the pasta cookes, keep stirring the mixture in the frying pan. You want to see the potato begin to come apart and amalgamate with the rest of the ingredients.

7. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and add to the pan. Mix well and season with the pecorino and the black pepper. When all of the pasta is coated, you are ready to serve it with that glass of dry white wine we mentioned earlier.

As wine, I used Falanghina. Not everyone agrees, but where possible I try to drink the same wine I used to cook the meal with. Partly because I think it brings out the flavours, and partly because I am a believer in the old saying that if you would not drink it then you shouldn’t cook with it – but that’s a whole other post!

With love, from Italy

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