Courgetti with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil and Walnut Pesto

Gluten free, vegetarian, contains nuts

You need some kind of spiraliser or julienne peeler to make courgetti; it is a great way to make a pasta style dish without the pasta. You can now by small handheld spiralisers which are safer to use than the large machines of a few years ago! If you don’t have either of these you could make thin strips instead with a peeler.

Ingredients

4 medium sized courgettes-ideally a mix of green and yellow

150g cherry tomatoes, left whole

A large bunch of basil (approx. 75g)

30g walnuts

1-2 cloves garlic

60ml (4 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil

The juice of a small lemon

Salt and pepper and honey/sugar to taste

30g grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)

Basil leaves to garnish

Method

Use a spiraliser or julienne peeler to strip the courgettes into thin spaghetti like strips.

In a frying pan gently toast the walnuts until they are slightly browned. Allow to cool and then chop.

You can make the pesto either in a blender or by hand in a pestle and mortar. First blend or pound the basil a little at a time with a splash of olive oil and continue until it is all well pureed. Add the rest of the oil and lemon, taste and add salt, pepper and maybe a little honey or a pinch of sugar. Add the chopped walnuts a few at a time and keep pulsing or pounding until you have a pesto texture that you like; it can be chunky or fairly smooth depending on your taste.

Heat a large frying pan or wok and add a splash of oil. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook them until they start to pop and wrinkle. Add the courgette and stir fry until it has just started to cook down; this will only take a few minutes. Add a few big spoons of the pesto and stir it in. Add half of the parmesan and stir gently.

Serve with fresh basil leaves and small bowls of the pesto and grated parmesan to add at the table.