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Culurgiones With Potato & Courgette (Zucchini)

Right now it’s courgette season, and I’ve been working my way through as many courgette recipes as I can think of. This recipe only uses a couple, but any excuse to make culurgiones is a bonus for me as I love making them and I love eating them, too.


400g/14oz vegan semolina dough

For the filling:

  • 400g/14oz potatoes, peeled
  • ½ bunch of mint, stalks and leaves separated
  • 45ml/3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, sliced
  • 2 small courgettes/zucchinis (about 250g/9oz), sliced
  • 80g/3oz Parmesan

For the pesto:

  • 60g/2oz washed rocket leaves
  • 1 bunch of basil (approx. 30g/1oz)
  • 30g/1oz of pine nuts, almonds or hazelnuts, toasted
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 40g/1½oz Parmesan, grated
  • 100–130ml/3½–4¼ fl oz olive oil

First make your pasta dough.

To make the filling, place a medium-sized pan of cold water on the hob, add the potatoes and mint stalks and season well with table salt. Bring to the boil and cook the potatoes until they are soft and ready to be mashed (about 15 minutes). Drain, discarding the mint stalks, then mash the potato using a ricer or potato masher. You want the mash to have a lovely smooth texture. Set aside to cool.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, add the shallot and cook for 4–5 minutes, stirring occasionally, before adding the courgettes. Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the courgettes are soft (about 20–25 minutes). Allow the courgettes to cool a little before mashing them.

Finely chop the mint leaves, then add them to the mashed potato with the grated Parmesan and the mashed courgettes. Mix everything together well and season to taste. Leave this mixture for at least one hour to allow the potato to really absorb the flavour of the mint, then taste it to check the seasoning.

Now make the pesto. Place the nuts in the bowl of a food processor, blitz for 10 seconds, then add the rocket and basil leaves, lemon juice and Parmesan. Start blending, slowly adding the olive oil through the funnel in the side, and season to taste. Transfer the pesto a large shallow saucepan and set to one side.

Next you can make and shape your culurgiones.

When you are ready to cook the pasta, bring a large pan of water to the boil before adding the salt. Drop all the culurgiones into the pan together (they should be robust enough to hold their shape, so there’s no need to cook in batches). Cook for 1½–2 minutes, then, using a slotted spoon, lift them out of the water and drop them straight into the pesto.

Serve straight away in between four plates, finishing the dish with a grating of Parmesan, nutritional yeast or pangrattato.

Vegan option:

Replace the Parmesan in the filling with a mix of pangrattato and nutritional yeast.