Pasta with Confit of Zucchini, Peas, Garlic, Chilli, Spinach and Pecorino

A couple of times a week, I’ll serve up a vegetarian meal. My family adores pasta in any form, and this recipe is a firm, family favourite. Its light and delicious, and we love the way the zucchini takes on a rich, almost buttery flavour. 100ml sounds like a lot of olive oil, but somehow it all gets absorbed into the sauce.

I’m not quite sure where this recipe came from but I have a hazy recollection of tearing the original recipe out of Sunday paper magazine supplement many years ago when my children were very young and my brain was hazy. It has the style of a Karen Martini recipe, and I hope I haven’t deviated too much from the original.

Pasta with Confit of Zucchini, Peas, Garlic, Chilli, Spinach and Pecorino

Serves 5

500gm tagliatelle
100ml (scant 1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 long red chilli; deseeded and finely sliced
6 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/2 cup dry white wine
100gm baby spinach; shredded
100gm pecorino cheese, grated

  1. Place olive oil, garlic, chilli and salt in a large heavy-based pan ( Le Creuset or similar) over medium heat.
  2. Cook for two minutes, then reduce heat to very low (I like to use a simmer mat) and add grated zucchini.
  3. Simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Zucchini will collapse and turn golden and soft.
  4. Add wine and peas, cook for 5 minutes, then add spinach and stir to combine. Check seasoning.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta in plenty of lightly salted water for 10-12 minutes or until al dente. Drain
  6. Add cooked pasta and pecorino cheese to the zucchini confit mixture. Stir to combine.
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