A soft courgette need not be a waterlogged courgette, despite childhood recollections. It need not be alarmingly mild, swampy vegetal matter. Instead it can be a like eating cloud tinted green, gorgeous and plush. With slow cooking in oil and butter, courgettes can become sensational. I was reminded of that this evening, with this dish. The lemon and the butter together, too, give an extraordinarily delicious flavour here.
one courgette, sliced in rounds about 1cm thick
2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
4 tablespoons of olive oil
a small knob of butter
1/4 a lemon and its zest freshly grated
a small bunch of basil
100g pasta, I had fusilli
Parmesan to serve (optional)
How to make:
Place the courgette rounds with the garlic and the oil and butter into a small pan or frying pan that just fits them with a pinch of salt and turn the heat on low.
Cook slowly for 20-30 minutes half covered by a lid until very soft. Turn them with a wooden spoon occasionally.
While they are almost ready, boil a large pan of well-salted water. At least a litre of water. When it’s boiling furiously, add the pasta.
When the pasta is almost ready, add half a ladle of water to the courgettes and squeeze in the lemon and grate in the zest and shake the pan repeatedly until the water, oil and butter and lemon are a little emulsified. Tear in the basil leaves and stir. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if wanted.
Drain the pasta, reserving a little water, and add the pasta to the pan with the courgettes. Turn the pasta in the sauce and add a little more cooking water if needed.
Serve with fresh parmesan.