spinach and ricotta courgetti

Zucchini

This is a zucchini.

It’s a zucchini, it has always been and will always be a zucchini, but today I will concede to the French because courgetti sounds so much better than zuchetti.

A while back, when I was investigating low-carb meals (that was a hoot), I came across the notion of using vegetables as alternatives to pasta and rice. There was the mysterious as-yet-unseen spaghetti squash (a pumpkin that turns into noodles when you cook it?? What?!), cauli-rice, cauliflower mash, and of course, courgette spaghetti.

At the time I thought nothing of it – but after watching Nigel Slater methodically clean his fridge by getting creative with his leftovers, I was inspired. I had half a bag of dangerously green spinach, a handful of plum tomatoes and a sliver of smoked salmon lying around. And so with a renewed creative burst I made the tastiest supper I’ve had in a long time, and I’m going to share it with you on the condition that you understand that I haven’t been disloyal to my Australian roots by calling it courgetti.

A myriad of flavours and textures. Just perfect.

Spinach and ricotta courgetti with smoked salmon
1 courgette
2 garlic cloves, sliced
Half a bag of spinach (about three handfuls)
1 small slice of smoked salmon, pulled into pieces
1 tablespoon smooth ricotta
6 mini mozzarella pearls (you can use one ball and slice it if you like, but I think the pearls are adorable)
6 plum tomatoes, sliced
Balsamic vinegar

In a pan, place the garlic and a good slug of olive oil and some salt to stop the garlic burning. Keep over a medium heat, being careful not to let the garlic colour, whilst you prepare the courgetti.

Take a vegetable peeler and run it down the length of the vegetable, as if you were going to peel it, but keep peeling in the same direction to form strips. I always, always find that peelers aren’t big enough to accommodate the full width of the courgette, so I peel until it starts to become a problem and then I turn it over and do the other side until the same thing happens. At this point, I slice the zucchini in half lengthways and continue with the peeler.

Once you’ve gotten to the point where no more noodles can be made, just chop the remaining chunk of courgette and add it to the pan with the garlic, which should be sizzling nicely by now.

Let the chunky courgette cook until soft and then add the spinach. When it starts to wilt, add the courgetti and move it around the pan. The courgetti really only needs about two or three minutes to warm through and take on the taste of the garlic.

Add the smoked salmon, then remove the pan from heat and dab in blobs of the ricotta. If you’ve bought smooth ricotta, it basically melts to form a creamy, garlicky sauce, but I imagine regular ricotta would be lovely as well.

Arrange on a plate and top with the mini mozzarella pearls, the plum tomatoes and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. The mildness of the courgette is the perfect base for the creaminess of the cheese and the sharpness of the tomatoes and vinegar, set off nicely by the zingy garlic. Bliss.

2 thoughts on “spinach and ricotta courgetti

    1. Oh wow they sound amazing (and look delicious, by the way)! I totally agree with you – I love that zucchini is incredibly versatile. More zucchini for everyone, I say! xx

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