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Mediterranean mountain pasta

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June 2021 Issue

Bring the Mediterranean to the mountains with this creamy ricotta pasta featuring lemons, greens and salty morsels.

One pot and one pan is all that’s needed to make this extremely good, extremely easy pasta. It’s a quasi-decadent meal that brings together sour, salty, bitter and creamy notes for a flavour sensation in every mouthful.

Serves: 4-5
Cost: $25
Prep: 5min
Cook time: 20min

1 onion
4 garlic cloves
2 zucchini
2 lemons
Small bunch of parsley
500g pasta (orecchiette is good)
250g ricotta
90g capers
200g garlic-stuffed olives
2 x 120g smoked sardines in oil
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Optional: homemade bread crumbs, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds

Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water. Finely slice the onion, crush and chop the garlic, roughly chop the parsley (leaves and stalks) and slice the zucchini into 1cm half moons.

If you have another stove at your disposal, while the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and then add the onion. Cook, stirring, until soft and golden (8min) then add the garlic and parsley stalks. Cook for a couple of minutes then add the zucchini. Fry for a couple of minutes until the zucchini is just starting to soften, then remove from the stove.

Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the vegetables. When the pasta is done, drain (but retain about 1 cup of the water) and stir through the ricotta, capers and juice, olives and oil, and sardines and oil, breaking the sardines up a bit as you mix with the back of a spoon.

Add the juice of the other lemon, plus a little bit of the pasta water if you want the sauce to be thinner.

Stir through most of the parsley leaves and black pepper. Empty the pot pasta mix into the frying pan, warming through on the stove if necessary. Taste and add more seasoning if required.

Serve in bowls and garnish with the rest of the parsley, and any nuts, seeds or bread crumbs.