Pasta Monday – Courgette and Spinach Pipe Rigate

For those who have been following Travelling Flavours since the beginning, you have probably noticed that I tend to follow recipes very cautiously. I would say that nine recipes out of ten have either been taken from a cook book, or from some well known passionate food bloggers out there. I personally find it much easier to follow recipes than to make an invention of my own. There are days where I wish I could just make something up but then tonnes of question pop in my head: would these ingredients work well together? What spices should I use? How much of each ingredient should I have? Maybe I should put a little bit more of this and less of that? And how many grams of this should have, and of that? These questions are endless. I’m sure that you’re probably thinking “just try” or “just test and see what it will be like”. Indeed, that’s definitely a great option but I’m scared of one thing. What if it doesn’t taste like anything? What if its not eatable? Then what? And that’s the exact, or close to exact, reflection my boyfriend made. He told me that I was sharing too many recipes of other food bloggers and cooking books, and that I wasn’t sharing anything of my own. So I thought, ok I’ll try something out…and deep in my heart I was thinking “I hope this works, I hope this works”.

_MG_5768_MG_5771_MG_5776_MG_5778_MG_5789Ok, to tell you the truth one of my colleagues inspired. Sometime last week around lunch time, I had finished my lunch, I was walking towards my desk and the air smelled good. Food good. I went up to my colleague, and, of course, told her that her food smelled good and asked her what she was having. It was pasta with quite a few vegetables; courgette, cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. I wrote the ingredients down knowing that I would try it someday. It was a few days later that my boyfriend told me that I should try something new, not from a cook book nor a food blogger but something of my own. A tiny little bell rang in my head – I was going to try that pasta dish!

As I didn’t have any directions, I just had to follow my instincts and I must say it turned out pretty god damn good. Approved by my boyfriend!

_MG_5782_MG_5784_MG_5786_MG_5793Serving: 3 to 4 person

– pipe rigate (pasta)
– 2 garlic cloves
– 1 courgette
– 1 can of sun-dried tomatoes
– 15 cherry tomatoes
– 150 g of fresh spinach
– grated cheese
– chives
– olive oil
– salt and pepper

– Mince the garlic cloves, peel and chop the courgette, and cut the sun-dried tomatoes in small pieces
– In a pan, heat some olive oil before adding the minced garlic cloves
– After 2-3 minutes, add the chopped courgette and cook for approximately 6 to 7 minutes
– In the mean time, cook the pasta
– Add the sun-dried tomatoes in the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes together with the chopped courgette
– Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they become soft and then the spinach
– Season with salt and pepper to taste
– Remove pan from the heat, add some grated cheese and chives, and stir
– Once you’ve drained your pipe rigate, place paste on a plate before topping it off with courgette/sun-dried tomatoes/cherry tomatoes/spinach

Note: when the courgette was cooking I covered the pan with a lid so that the courgette would cook through. At one point, I wanted to add some tomato sauce because I had a strong feeling that the dish wouldn’t be ‘saucy’. In the end that turned out to be true, but I also felt that if I had added some tomato sauce it would have been too much but it’s an idea to explore. It’s also for you to see how much grated cheese and chives you want to add. I feel that I could have added more chives to the dish, so I’ll definitely have to increase that next time. For the cheese, we had grated mozzarella and I would suggest not adding to much directly to the dish so that if people want more cheese they can do that once served.