Slow cooked courgette and anchovy ‘pesto’  with wholewheat pasta

This is pretty easy and for the effort you put in the results are amazing. I tried this out because I had a load of courgettes and wanted something really comforting but punchy. I have called it ‘pesto’ as it has the ingredients of a pesto but in a slightly different order.
You can do steps one and two a few days before if you want, making this a really quick evening dinner. Also you can use half of the anchovies here if you don’t want it to taste fishy at all, but do put at least half a tin in the dish, it’ll pretty much dissolve and season the dish.
Serves 2 | time 55 minutes
Prep 5 minutes | Cook 50 minutes
  • 3 courgettes, sliced really thin
  • 3 cloves of garlic , sliced really thin
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tin of anchovies
  • Good handful of pine nuts
  • Good handful of basil, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp creme freiche or Greek yoghurt (optional)
  • 2 handfuls spinach / kale / cavelo nero
  • Pasta (use whatever you like I used wholewheat fusilli)
To serve
  • 1 tbsp basil, chopped
  • 2 tsp capers
  • Parmesan (as much as you want)
  • Squeeze of lemon
Part one
  • On a mid to low heat, cook the courgettes with the garlic and oil for 45 minutes
Part two
  • Put the basil, pine nuts and anchovy in a pestle and mortar and smash it up or put it in a food processor and mix
  • When this is done add it to the courgette and garlic and mix well
  • It should be a thick mush
Part three
  • Blanch your spinach, kale or cavelo nero and roughly chop
  • Cook your pasta as per the packet instructions but do not get rid of all the water
  • Put two tbsp of the starchy cooking water in a frying pan with the mush
  • heat the pasta, mush together and spinach, kale or cavelo nero until heated through
  • Stir through the creme freiche if using (this adds a rich decadence to the dish but isn’t necessary if you want something cleaner
Part four
  • Serve in a bowl and garnish with basil, capers, Parmesan and twist of pepper and a squeeze of lemon