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Hugh's courgettes, mozzarella, pasta

Hugh's courgettes, mozzarella, pasta, taken from his 3 Good Things on More4. Hugh's recognised a simple pattern that underpins so many well-loved dishes that they are little more or less than three good things on a plate and in this series, he pursues that idea, experimenting with different flavours and textures.


Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5 and lightly butter an oven dish, about 1.5 litre capacity. Cut the courgettes into 3mm thick slices.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the courgettes. Once they are sizzling nicely, but before they start to brown, turn the heat down and season with a little salt; this helps draw out their moisture. Cook the courgettes gently, stirring often and breaking them down a little with your spatula or wooden spoon as they become tender. Continue to cook until they have softened almost to the point of mushiness - up to half an hour. Add the garlic when you think they are almost done. You should end up with a fragrant, garlicky, rough courgette puree.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil, salt it well and add the pasta. Cook for a minute or two less than the minimum time suggested on the packet, so it is marginally underdone.

Drain the pasta well. Add the mushy, garlicky courgettes and stir to combine. Tear up the mozzarella with your hands and add it to the pasta, along with the cream. Season with salt and pepper and stir the whole lot together one more time.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared oven dish and give it a good grating of Parmesan or other hard cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until piping hot and golden brown on top. Serve straight away.

This recipe is one of hundreds of new recipes which can be found in the book which inspired the series,

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A knob of butter

500g courgettes, trimmed

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

250g pasta shapes, such as penne or rigatoni

2 balls of buffalo mozzarella (250g in total)

2 tablespoons double cream

Freshly grated Parmesan, hard goat's cheese or other well-flavoured hard cheese

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

This recipe is taken from...

Hugh’s Three Good Things