Pasta with courgettes

This is one of my favourite pastas, but I must start with a warning: it isn’t as easy on the eye as on the palate; this is a dish made for pleasure not a photo-op. In order for the courgettes to acquire the sweet, braised flavour they imbue the pasta with here, they are cooked to a squashy khaki.

Image of Nigella's Pasta With Courgettes


Serves: 2

  • 200 grams casarecce pasta
  • salt for pasta water, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil (or 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 clove garlic, minced)
  • 4 spring onions (finely sliced)
  • 500 grams courgettes (finely diced)
  • 60 millilitres dry white wine or vermouth
  • small bunch fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (or vegetarian equivalent) plus more for sprinkling
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter


  1. Put a pan of water on for the pasta, salting generously (or to taste) when it comes to the boil, then add the casarecce – cooking as per packet instructions, though tasting a couple of minutes before they’re meant to be ready – and get on with the sauce.
  2. Put the garlic oil (or olive oil and minced garlic) and chopped spring onions in a heavy-based pan (that comes with a lid) on medium heat and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Add the diced courgettes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every now and again.
  4. Add the wine or vermouth, letting it bubble up, followed by 2 tablespoons of the chopped parsley, salt to taste, then lower the heat, cover with the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes, by which time the courgettes should be gorgeously tender.
  5. Before draining the pasta, remove a cupful of starchy cooking water.
  6. Tip the drained pasta back into its pan, add the braised courgettes, or add the pasta to the pan of courgettes, along with 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan and 4 tablespoons of pasta-cooking liquid. Combine thoroughly and taste to see if you wish to add more cheese or salt or pepper or, indeed, cooking liquid, then stir in the butter and most of the remaining parsley and divide between 2 warmed bowls, sprinkling with the rest of the parsley, and more Parmesan if wished, on serving.

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