Enjoy this fantastic recipe by Antonio Carluccio, also known as the Godfather of Italian Gastronomy. As he wrote in his book: "Some years ago someone asked me if I could create a vegetarian dish with pasta. I went immediately to the kitchen, where I found enough courgettes and spinach to make a dish, matched them with pennoni (large pasta tubes from Puglia), and this is it. Since then, it has been on Carluccio's menu, and each time it is ordered, it collects 50p for charity. It has been so successful that in those eight intervening years, it has collected almost a million pounds!"
- 300 g Pennoni Il Cappelli
- 600 g young spinach leaves
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- tip of a knife of freshly grated nutmeg
- 50 g fresh breadcrumbs
- 20 g Parmesan
- extra virgin olive oil
- Prepare the spinach balls first by cooking the spinach leaves in salted water for a few minutes. Scoop out and leave to cool down.
- When cool, squeeze out most of the moisture and chop the leaves with a knife, but not too small.
- Mix spinach in a bowl with the eggs, garlic, nutmeg, breadcrumbs and parmesan. Make balls the size of a large walnut and shallow-fry in olive oil until they brown on all sides. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente.
- Meanwhile, for the sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan and add garlic, chilli and courgette to the pan. Cook quickly in the olive oil, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix the cooked pasta with sauce, then divide between plates.
- Sprinkle the top of each portion with parmesan and place 4-5 spinach balls on top.