Penne with zucchini, chilli flakes and feta cheese
I’m always on the lookout for tasty zucchini recipes, as I love it’s crisp freshness. When I saw a recipe for zucchini pasta in a magazine years ago, I thought it looked perfect for a healthy, weekday meal so I adapted it by adding some new flavours. I have lots of those actually. Does anyone else have a heap of magazine recipe cutouts? I’ll often be sitting in the hairdresser, get all excited over a recipe thinking oh my god I have to make this and rip it out. So next time you’re at the hairdresser or dentist and your magazine is falling to bits, it’s probably because of me, or someone like me at least. Sorry about that. I’m a bit of a nanna when it comes to recipes.
I love the flavours in this summer dish; a bit of heat from the chilli flakes, some freshness from the zucchini, a lemony bite, the saltiness of the feta, all tossed through hearty penne with a sprinkling of toasted nuts – it’s a tasty combination.
20ml olive or grapeseed oil
3 large zucchini, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
A pinch dried chilli flakes
100g feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 lemon, juiced (around 30-40ml)
1 tspn grated lemon rind
1/3 cup chopped continental parsley
Around 30g toasted nuts of your choice – I recommend pine nuts or chopped walnuts
Cook pasta in a large saucepan of salted, boiling water until al dente.
Meanwhile, add garlic, zucchini and chilli flakes to oil and heat in a large, heavy based pan over medium high heat until zucchini is light golden but still firm, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Drain pasta, (reserving some of the pasta water) and add to pan with zucchini mixture. Add feta, lemon juice, 1-2 tblspns of the reserved pasta water (or a splash of extra virgin olive oil if you prefer) and parsley, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Toss over low heat until well combined and heated through.
Spoon pasta into bowls, sprinkle with nuts, and serve.