Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Rigatoni with Courgettes, Lemon and Basil

A joke for you....

Q: What cheese do you use to hide a small horse?

A: Mascarpone!!

Sorry, but that joke does make me laugh and it is topical as mascarpone is one of the key ingredients in this particular recipe. I always end up with too much of this cheese-that-doesn't-taste-like-cheese as so few recipes call for a whole tub. So I'm always pleased to find a recipe that I can add to my repertoire.

This was a nice pasta dish and one that was quick and simple to make. The flavour is quite plain - there's no cheese or garlic that you so often find in this sort of dish - but sometimes plain is good. And this was.

Rigatoni with Courgettes, Lemon and Basil
(adapted from Food for Living by Rachel Allen)

450g/1 lb rigatoni or other pasta shapes
2 tbsp olive oil
4 small or 2 medium courgettes, halved lengthways, seeds removed and thinly sliced at an angle
100g/4oz mascarpone cheese or soft cream cheese
3 tbsp milk
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp torn or sliced fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1) Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water.

2) While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan over a high heat, then add the courgettes. Cook for 3-4 minutes until just softened and lightly golden.

3) In a bowl, mix together the cheese, milk, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the basil. Add to the courgettes in the pan and toss together on the heat for 1 minute, until the cheese has melted (I actually took the pan off the heat when I added the cheese as it was starting to bubble away to nothing). Season to taste.

4) Drain the pasta, tip it into the frying pan and mix with the sauce. Divide between plates or bowls and scatter with the remaining basil before serving.

Serves 4


  1. Love the gag and love the dish!!! I have often thought of trying this but somehow not got around to it -must recify this :)

  2. great pasta dish!!! your too funny, Marscapone!

  3. This looks delicious and any new courgette recipe is good at the moment. Think I might not be able to resist adding a bit of garlic though.

  4. Looks like a great after work dish and one I would make.