Courgette ribbons with pistachio pesto

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Okay, this is the last summery meal from me I promise. It’s the last day of September so perhaps I just about get away with it? Wasn’t necessarily going to blog about this very easy to make dinner but I enjoyed it so much I thought I would. I basically just treated the courgettes exactly like pappardelle for a healthier alternative to a bucket load of pasta. You’re allowed to eat a bucket load of courgettes! This would actually be lovely tossed around with some pappardelle if you can’t hack all those courgettes – I could barely tell the difference to be honest so if you’re looking for something veg-based that doesn’t taste it look no further!

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You will need:

6 small courgettes
1 garlic clove, crushed
30g Parmesan, finely grated
30 pistachio kernels (shelled)
A couple of handfuls of basil (equivalent to a standard size supermarket basil plant)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt, pepper

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Method:

1 – Make the pesto. Dry roast the pistachio kernels then tip them in a mortar and pestle with the crushed garlic. Bash lightly then tip into a separate bowl. Add the basil leaves to the mortar and pestle and bash them up bit by bit, adding a little oil to help the process. You’ll want about 4 tbspns of oil in there by the time you’ve bashed up all the basil. Tip the nuts back in with the basil, add half the cheese. Add a little more oil if needed to achieve a runny pesto. Season with a pinch of salt and set aside.
2 – Cut the courgettes. Top and tail them then use a standard vegetable peeler to cut into thin ribbons, discarding the beginning and end ribbons which will be made up of too much skin. Sprinkle the ribbons with a little salt as you make them. If you couldn’t get small courgettes, half or quarter them lengthways in order to get them to fit inside the width of your peeler.
3 – Cook the courgettes. Add around 2 tbspns oil to a frying pan and heat gently. Add the courgettes and cook over a low-medium heat for a couple of minutes, turning gently with tongs continuously. You just want them to give slightly rather than cook through or brown. You also want to catch them before they release too much water, undercooking them if necessary
4 – Add the pesto. Once the courgettes are done, stir in the pesto carefully. Dish into two plates and top with the remaining cheese. Eat immediately!

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