Rigatoni alla Giardiniera con Polpettine di Spinaci Pasta with Courgette Sauce and Spinach Balls

Serves 4

1 recipe spinach balls (see recipe posted on 1st August)
400g rigatoni (large ridged pasta tubes)
salt and pepper

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped
8 tbsp olive oil
2 courgettes, trimmed and finely grated
60g Parmesan, freshly grated

This is a recipe I created for Carluccio’s Caffès. It is still on the menu, and every time someone orders it, some money goes to charity.  It has proved so popular that Carluccio’s was able to collect £70,000 in three months!

Prepare the spinach balls in advance and keep warm in a very low oven.

In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, about 8-10 minutes.  When ready, drain, reserving a few tablespoons of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Fry the garlic and chilli in the oil for about a minute – don’t let the garlic brown – then add the courgettes, and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the courgettes have started to soften.

Add the Parmesan to the sauce, season to taste and mix well, then toss thoroughly with the drained pasta and reserved cooking water.  Serve hot with the warmed spinach balls on top.

This recipe is from Antonio Carluccio’s Simple Cooking