We both share a total and complete love of pasta – our achilles heel, our death row dish, our hang over comfort go-to, our heart break remedy, our celebratory number one – so it felt right to choose a pasta to be our penultimate recipe. We both met in New York – all those many moons ago, and bonded over the corner pasta joints, sitting out on a busy road side with a cheap glass of wine watching the world buzz by – this is our happy place. New York does very good pasta. Italy does very good pasta (of course). And London is getting there. Its cheap, humble and versatile. No Kitchen should be without a packet of dried pasta in the store cupboard (there are now endless alternative vegan and gluten free options). It’s the go to most evenings of the week. We could go on and on about pasta – how can something so simple be so incredibly delicious – at Padella they have a pasta that is simply with butter and black pepper – heaven. If keeping it simple then think about the ingredients, make sure they are of the highest quality – if making a tomato sauce then use bright red, sweet tomatoes – smell them, feel them, taste them, if they are delicious then they are worth using, if not then don’t make a tomato sauce. Use seasonal ingredients – in the summer make pasta sauces using peas, courgettes, asparagus, herbs, garden leafy greens, artichokes – in the winter go for slow cook ragus, soups and stews. We love adding an extra something – perhaps a nut, a chilli jam, a dollop of a lemony crème fraiche, a fresh and fragrant herb oil or salsa – lift that dish. For us the perfect pasta dish requires balance – its about getting that umami of flavours, the depth and heat of a dried chilli along with with a fresh, hot chilli to elevate. The saltiness of a cheese, something crunchy along with something slow cooked, an abundance of herbs. With pasta – fresh or dried its all about really salting the water and keeping it slightly al dente, always save a little of the pasta water to add to your sauce to make it super smooth and silky and allow the pasta to do its last minute of cooking in the sauce. When deciding the last pasta dish for this column we got thinking about nostalgic summertime ones- and the one that hit the right note was a slow cooked courgette one - but of course with a little tarty twist of fresh chopped herbs, a little crunch of pine kernels and morish spice! The melt-in- your mouth flavour explosion of slow cooked courgettes with dried and fresh mint, garlic and chilli in simply divine. We have also used nduja (our favourite is from Natoora), which we think really lends itself well to this dish- a spicy tang, but of course hold back to keep it vegetarian or spice free. This really is a special dish for an evening in this summer.


    Serves 3


    1 tbsp butter

    4 big garlic cloves- thinly sliced

    ½ tsp dried chilli

    2 courgettes- thinly sliced into rounds

    1 tsp dried mint

    1 heaped tbsp nduja

    100ml white wine

    big handful of mint leaves- finely chopped

    1 tbsp crème fraiche

    1 medium lemon


    300g Rigatoni


    Tarragon salsa-

    Handful tarragon leaves- chopped

    Handful parsley leaves- chopped

    ½ shallot- finely diced

    2 lemons- zested, and juice from half a lemon

    2 tbsp toasted pine nuts- roughly chopped

    2tbsp- finely grated parmesan

    olive oil


1.  Get a pot of water on the boil with plenty of salt

2.   In a big sauce pan, over a medium heat- slowly start frying the garlic and dried chilli in butter and a good glug of olive oil, after a few minutes add the courgette and stir. Reduce the heat to low and add the dried mint. You want this to slowly cook down for a good 30-40 minutes, stir now and then.

3.  Whilst this is cooking make you tarragon salsa- combine ingredients and pour some good quality olive oil in, until you get a loose texture. Season generously (to taste).

4. When your courgette are completely tender, push to one side of the pan and add your nduja and raise the heat to medium- allow this to sizzle down and then pour in your wine. Mix all together and cook down and turn the heat off. Add your lemon juice, fresh mint and crème fraiche. mix together.

5. Cook your pasta to the cooking instructions- until al dent. Add the pasta to your courgette sauce pan, with a mugful of starchy cooking water. Turn the heat up and cook for a further minute, until the sauce in combined to the pasta and nice and silk.

6.  Plate up generously with the delicious, crunchy tarragon salsa