fried courgette and burrata pasta

i’ve been catching up on my blog reading and have been particularly inspired by a few smitten kitchen recipes, including this ottolenghi pasta and fried courgette salad. it was an intriguing read – deep-fried courgette is dressed with a little red wine vinegar plus a basil and parsley pesto, the combination of which is very moreish. add capers, lemon zest and more basil plus pasta and you end up with a lovely fresh-tasting vegetable-laden dish. add torn pieces of creamy burrata and the deliciousness is amped up several notches.

the original recipe also includes edamame beans, which i didn’t have so couldn’t include. fresh peas or broad beans would also have been nice but again i was out of them so just increased the courgette, which was no real hardship given how amazing the deep-fried discs tasted, especially once they’d been marinating in the dressing. 

ottolenghi’s pasta and fried courgette salad* (serves 4)

180ml sunflower oil, or any type of oil you like for deep-frying

3 medium courgette, cut into 3mm discs

1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

100g edamame or broad beans, peas (fresh or frozen)

90g basil leaves, coarsely chopped

15g parsley leaves

80ml cup olive oil

250g pasta

zest of 1 lemon

1 ½ tablespoons capers

150g buffalo mozzarella, torn into chunks (abby note: i used burrata)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

in a medium saucepan heat the sunflower oil over a medium-high heat. fry the courgette discs in batches for about 3 to 4 minutes, flipping once, until golden on both sides. drain on kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil then transfer to a large bowl, toss with a pinch of salt and the vinegar. set aside.

combine half the basil and all of the parsley plus the olive oil in a mini food processor. blend until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.

bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. cook the beans/peas for a few minutes, until just cooked. scoop these out, leaving the water so you can then add and cook the pasta in it. drain and run cool water over the beans/peas and set aside to dry. cook pasta until al dente, drain and rinse under cold water (abby note: i didn’t cool my pasta, wanting this to be a warm dish).

mix the pasta with the fried courgette and any juices, basil-parsley pesto, beans/peas, lemon zest, capers and mozzarella (abby note: because i used burrata i added this at the end, to the plated dish). stir gently together, then season to taste with salt and pepper. just before serving, stir in remaining basil leaves.

* quantities are all approximate as they are my adaptation from american cups; i’ve also changed the order of doing things in the method.