Pic of Courgette and sheep cheese pasta with gremolata

Courgette and sheep cheese pasta with gremolata

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Vegetarian mains

Courgette and sheep cheese pasta with gremolata

Main Serves 2 30 min
Given a low heat and a little time, courgettes collapse into a chunky mass, good for whizzing into soups or piling on toast. Here they're combined with sheep's cheese and a splash of water to create a simple, creamy sauce. Gremolata is a vibrant Italian garnish with three easy ingredients; parsley, lemon zest and garlic. Preserved lemons add a twist here. You only need the rind, as the flesh is bitter when preserved. The rind is sweeter and saltier than fresh lemons; add a little, taste, then add more if desired.

Ingredients

  • 2 courgettes
  • oil for frying
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes – add to taste
  • salt and pepper
  • 15g parsley
  • 1 piece preserved lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 200g trenne pasta (or your preferred pasta shape)
  • 100g Sussex Slipcote cheese or other soft, light sheep cheese

Method

Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 25 min
  • Step 1

    Wash and thinly slice the courgettes into rounds, no larger than ½-cm thick.
  • Step 2

    Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the courgettes and cover with a lid. Cook for approx. 15-20 mins, until soft and lightly caramelised. Stir occasionally. If they look like catching at any point, add a dash of water and reduce the heat.
  • Step 3

    When the courgettes have softened, add half the chilli flakes, taste, and add more if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Step 4

    Meanwhile, put a saucepan of salted water on to boil. Wash, shake dry and finely chop the parsley leaves.
  • Step 5

    Scrape away the pulpy flesh from the preserved lemon and discard it. Finely dice the rind. Peel and finely chop the garlic clove.
  • Step 6

    Mix the parsley, garlic and lemon rind together. Chop until it all resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. This is your gremolata.
  • Step 7

    Tip the pasta into the boiling water. Cook for 8-10 mins, until tender. Place a colander over a bowl and drain the pasta (you want to save the starchy pasta water).
  • Step 8

    Crumble half the Sussex Slipcote cheese into the courgettes. Stir in the pasta. Warm over a low heat, adding 1-2 tbsp pasta water, enough to create a silky sauce.
  • Step 9

    Divide between 2 bowls. Top with extra crumbled cheese if desired, and the gremolata.