Pasta with Courgette Sauce and Spinach Balls
500g spinach, cleaned and tough stalks removed
2 eggs, beaten
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp very finely pureed garlic
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
50g parmesan, finely grated
olive oil, for shallow frying
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped
8 tbsp olive oil
2 courgettes, trimmed and finely grated
60g parmesan, freshly grated
Wash spinach, place it in a pan of salted boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes, then drain. Squeeze out as much water as you can, using your hands or pressing in a sieve, then chop leaves finely.
Place spinach in a medium bowl and stir in beaten eggs, a pinch of salt, some pepper, the nutmeg, garlic, breadcrumbs and parmesan. Mix well until you achieve a binding consistency. If the mixture is too wet, add an extra tablespoonful of breadcrumbs.
Pour enough olive oil into a frying pan to cover the base generously and heat gently. Roll mixture into little balls the size of walnuts. Shallow-fry in the hot olive oil until golden, about 4-5 minutes per side. Drain on kitchen paper then keep warm in a very low oven.
In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. When ready, drain, reserving a few tablespoonfuls of pasta cooking water.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Fry garlic and chilli in the oil for about a minute – don’t let garlic brown – then add the courgettes and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until courgettes have started to soften.
Add parmesan to sauce, season to taste and mix well. Toss with drained pasta and reserved cooking water. Serve hot with warmed spinach balls on top.