As a kid, my sister and I were very picky about food. I don’t know why, but what we wanted or would be willing to eat, was very limited. Our Aunt who lived in Sweden couldn’t understand how we refused to eat most of the things she put on our plate. This is how my favourite childhood game got started and it was played when we visited our Aunt.
She would prepare small portions of different types of food. There were eggs in different form, olives, fish, exotic fruits, pickles, salami and all sorts of things you can find in a fridge. Then the contestants, my sister, my two cousins and me got points by how many of them we tasted. I absolutely loved this game. If I remember correctly, there was pocket money to be won with every dish you tried, but for me it was about winning and beating the other contestants. I feel that this set the tone on how I would see food as an adult, something adventurous that will always give you something new to learn from. I love challenging myself through cooking.
This is my latest challenge, courgette. I know, it sounds funny that courgette would be challenging, but I love spicy and bold tasting food, so I find it hard to work with ingredients that have milder taste. In Positano I ate few amazing courgette dishes so I decided to give it ago at home as well.
Courgette pasta for two
1 shallot onion
2 garlic gloves
Juice of half a lemon
One small courgette
handful of fresh baby spinach
Butter and olive oil
250 g pasta
Chop the shallot and garlic. Cut the courgette to strings that remind you of spaghetti. You can do thin slices and then cut the slices length way to get the right shape.
Place water to boil for the pasta and once the water is boiling put the pasta in and start making the sauce. Check your pasta for boiling time and maybe take few minutes out to get the Al Dente pasta experience. As your pasta boils you should have enough time to make the sauce.
Place some butter on a frying pan. I use large wok, so I can mix the sauce and the pasta in it at the end. Add shallot and garlic and give them a minute or two by themselves. Be careful that you don’t burn the onions because you don’t want the butter or the onions to have any brown colour on them. So check your temperature.
After minute or two add the courgette strings and spinach and stir from time to time. You will only need few minutes for the courgette to be tender. Don’t over cook and loose all the texture. Add the lemon juice, salt, little bit of olive oil and lots of black pepper.
Put the pan aside and if you want, you can add a tablespoon of mascarpone to the mixture to give it a creamy texture. Additionally, you can save some of the boiling water from the pasta and add that in. If using the boiling water you will only need a little, so that the food doesn’t become too watery. Add the pasta in and give it a good stir and add some grated Parmesan. As a last touch you can give it a prosciutto rose to make it pretty.
We all have our likings and disliking’s when it comes to food but challenge your self to try something different and new, trust me you wont regret it. (Unless it is raw herring, then you will regret it.) And if you have picky children at your table try my Aunts game and maybe you will turn them into future foodies.