This is something I like to throw together when I’m really hungry and craving carbs. It’s super quick and easy to make and it usually doesn’t warrant a special trip to the grocery store as I tend to have most of the ingredients to hand. It’s a great option post exercise; the carbohydrate will help replace your depleted glycogen stores and it also offers a decent balance of protein and fats.
It’s also a great way to up your vegetable intake and reap the health benefits of the somewhat under-rated courgette.
Courgettes are a great source of immune system-boosting vitamin C and also contain a surprisingly high amount the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. We often think first about carrots as providing eye-related health benefits, but the antioxidants in courgettes are beneficial in protecting against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts too.
The soluble fibre in the skin of the courgette also slows down digestion, stabilising blood sugar and insulin levels and helps to prevent constipation and relieve irritable bowel symptoms.
I'd call that a win-win.
75g dry linguine
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
a pinch of dried chilli flakes (adjust according to your taste)
grated zest of half a lemon
a small handful of pine nuts
1 coarsely grated courgette
a large handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
50g feta cheese
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
set a pan of water to boil for the pasta while you prepare everything else;
once the water is boiling, add the pasta to the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes, or according to packet instructions;
heat a wok (a large fry pan will work too) over a medium-high heat. Add a couple of glugs of olive oil, the chopped garlic and the dried chilli flakes. Cook for a minute or so, until fragrant but not yet beginning to brown then remove the pan from the heat;
add the lemon zest and pine nuts and stir. Then add the grated courgette and the parsley and toss to combine. The idea is to just warm the courgette though, rather than to cook it. You want to keep the courgette looking fresh and keeping its texture - if you over heat it, it'll go watery and limp. Not appetising.
once the pasta has cooked, drain throughly then add to the pan with the other ingredients. Season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper, add another splash of olive oil, crumble over the feta and you’re ready to serve.
Energy 138.1kcal (574.4kj)
of which sugars 1.1g
of which saturates 2.1g
Per serve (367g)
Energy 506.9kcal (2108.0kj)
of which sugars 3.9g
of which saturates 7.8g