Supper at Carluccio's : Penne Giardiniera

Penne Giardiniera 
Last week I fell in love with a totally delicious vegetarian pasta dish that DOESN'T involve tomatoes. My new favourite. I even found the recipe from Carluccio's Blog so I can recreate it at home (hopefully!).



Spinach balls: 
700g raw spinach (about 250g when cooked)
half a clove of garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
Tiny pinch of nutmeg
45g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
70g dry breadcrumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
olive oil for shallow frying

500g Penne
80g butter
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
20g red chillies, finely chopped
2 medium courgettes, coarsely grated
240g Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated


  • To make 28 spinach balls (7 per person): Boil, but don’t overcook, the spinach in lightly salted water. Press it dry, break open the leaves and tear apart roughly.
  • In a bowl, mix together the torn spinach, garlic, egg, nutmeg and Parmesan. Add about half of the breadcrumbs, to balance the moisture of the mixture. 
  • Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Roll one ball and fry it, to test for consistency and taste. (If the mixture is too wet, the ball will fall apart during cooking, but too much bread content will lessen the spinach flavour.) Add some more breadcrumbs or seasoning if needed. 
  • Fry until golden. Set aside. 
  • To make the pasta: In abundant salted water, boil the pasta until it’s al dente, perhaps 10-15 minutes.
  • Drain and keep warm. 
  • In a pan, melt the butter and heat the garlic and chillies. 
  • Add the grated courgettes and fry for a minute or two. 
  • Add the cooked pasta and toss in most of the grated cheese (leave some for serving). 
  • Season with salt and pepper. 

 To serve: In a deep plate or shallow bowl, serve the pasta sprinkled with spinach balls and the remaining Parmesan.

Music whilst cooking
Love this song - Cut Copy "Feel the love". Tesco are using it for their Florence & Fred advert.


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