I do my best to grow vegetables every summer and last year I had so many courgettes I hardly knew what to do with them. This year I didn’t manage to plant as many vegetables and those that I did manage to plant have spent the summer feeling very sorry for themselves. My courgette plant has decided it is a lot happier producing baby courgettes rather than full size ones: I will have no problems trying to decide what to do with marrows this year. The one dish that I cooked over and over last summer with my courgettes and never got tired of was linguine with crème fraîche, lemon, pine nuts, parmesan and chilli. I think the lemon in particular gives it a really light, summery taste and it’s so quick and easy.
Toast a handful of pine nuts in a frying pan and set aside. Cut the courgette into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Boil the water for the linguine, add salt and then add the linguine. The courgettes take hardly any time to heat through in the frying pan with a little olive oil so it is a good idea to cook them just before the linguine is ready. Add the juice of up to half a lemon, some dried or fresh chilli and a large tablespoon of creme fraiche. You could also use cream, mascarpone or soft cheese, or just leave it out. Season to taste. Drain the pasta and mix in the sauce. Add the pine nuts and a good handful of grated parmesan. If you haven’t added crème fraîche or its equivalent you might want to add some extra olive oil. All the quantities can be adjusted to individual taste so if you like it more lemony, add more. Add a little basil or some mint to the top and serve with salad.
From the garden to the plate in no time at all.