This colourful dish has a lovely summer fee and it’s inspired by one of my favourite pasta dishes ‘Pennoni Giardiniera’ on the menu in Carluccio's Italian Restaurants.
The dish comprises of pasta quills, tossed in a courgette & garlic sauce topped with crispy spinach balls.
A couple of weeks ago, I was very excited to find the recipe for this exact dish online and couldn’t wait to try it for myself. Everything was going swimmingly until it came to frying the little spinach balls and I couldn’t understand why mine were falling apart in the pan.
As it turns out, I was in such a hurry to get the tasty little morsels cooked I had forgotten to add the egg to bind everything together.
As I was on the phone to my sister at the same time, I naturally blamed her for distracting me, afterall what are big sisters for. The results were very close in taste to what I remember albeit a not so attractive version.
If you are interested the recipe for this dish along with many others, it is available on Antonio Carluccio’s website:https://antonio-carluccio.co.uk/recipes/pennono-giardiniera/Afterward I started to think about how the dishes main ingredients of spinach, courgette and garlic could work together in other vegetarian dishes.
The potato replaces the pasta as the main carbohydrate and instead of the spinach balls it is the rosti that add the texture to this dish.
It is full of colour and bursting with flavour; the roasted cherry tomatoes and pepper add a little sweetness, the Kalamata olives bring the saltiness and the lemon juice offers a tang to round it all off.
So the next time you are out to dinner I hope you find a little summer inspiration to bring back to your own kitchen.
For the Potato, Courgette & Spinach Rosti
400g potato, grated (about 3 medium)
250g courgette, grated (about 1 large)
200g spinach leaves, wilted (1 large bag)
70g bread crumbs
40g parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tbsps. parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ tsp. nutmeg, ground
For the Roasted Cherry Tomato Salsa
300g cherry tomatoes (1 large punnet)
1 pepper (yellow is best for colour)
1 garlic clove, crushed & chopped
25g kalamata olives
8-10 basil leaves
olive oil, extra virgin
1 lemon, zest & juice
salt & pepper
Ready in 50 minutes
Serves 4 people
For a main meal this dish combines really well with grilled chicken or white fish. Alternatively for a brunch dish serve with a fried, poached egg.
1. To Make the Roast Cherry Tomato Salsa
Wash the pepper, deseed and cut into small chunks. Wash the cherry tomatoes. In a roasting dish, toss them both together with a little olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Leave the tray to one side.
2. To Make the Potato, Courgette & Spinach Rosti
Wash the spinach and courgette. Peel the potatoes. Place the spinach leaves onto a large hot frying pan and wilt. Remove from the heat. Grate the potatoes and courgette into a bowl. Add a good pinch of salt, stir and leave to sit for a few minutes. This is done to draw out excess water.
3. Compact the ingredients in the bowl to squeeze out as much water as possible. Squeeze out the spinach leaves, break apart and add to the bowl. Wipe out the frying pan.
4. Use some kitchen paper to draw away more moisture from the mix if necessary.
5. To Season the Rosti
To the grated ingredients add the crushed chopped garlic, breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, nutmeg, salt & pepper.
6. To Cook the Rosti
Preheat an oven to 180 degrees. Then heat
a little olive oil in a large frying pan, gather up small handfuls of the rosti mixture, press lightly together and flatten out. Fry gently over a medium heat for approx. Five minutes on both sides. Transfer the rosti to a baking tray.
7. Place the tray with the rosti and the vegetables into the oven @ 180C for 20 minutes.
8. When the cherry tomatoes and peppers are out of the oven, toss them with the zest and juice of a lemon, kalamata olives and torn basil leaves.
9. To Serve
Place the rosti onto a warmed plate, top with the salsa and a spoon of natural yogurt or creme fresh.