We have really enjoyed exploring pasta dishes that are some distance away from those based on meat ragù although these will probably always be a bedrock of our Big Green Egg cooking. This recipe was inspired by a dish of Theo Randall’s that we had cooked previously. In that dish, sea bass and courgette paired beautifully with Tagliatelle, Basil and Capers. This summer we have had a real glut of courgettes (zucchini) from the 4 plants we had grown in the garden. We also had the tail of a nice side of salmon that we had prepared for a different dish earlier in the week. So a similar but slightly different dish!
In reality, there is no need to cook this dish outside on the Big Green Egg it cooks beautifully on a conventional stove. But when the sun is shining ……………… why not!! When we do this we still usually cook the pasta on a hob! This is a great dish for using the tail end of a side of salmon after using the prime cuts for other dishes.
The courgettes were cute into rounds about 1cm thick and then these were cut into batons – usually three to a disc. The BGE was set up for direct cooking at around 180C. The olive oil was heated in one of our Tefal Ingenio pans. (These work so well on the BGE as well as on the Hob as the handles can simply be clipped off as needed). The sliced garlic was added to the oil and was cooked for around 1 minute. The courgettes were then added and cooked for 5 minutes, tossing them a few times until they were a light golden colour. The salmon tail had been skinned and cut into strips.
These were added to the pan followed by the basil and capers and a little seasoning. The fish was cooked through for 2-3 minutes only and the pan was removed from the heat. If you cook any longer the fish will break up.
This dish calls out for a long pasta that will hold a sauce. Theo’s original recipe used freshly made tagliatelle – which works really well. In this occasion we chose to use a good quality dried fettuccini which needed to be cooked for around 8 minutes. We therefore set the timer for 7 minutes and put it on when we added the fish to the courgettes.
At 7 minutes the fettuccini was still a little undercooked and so this is a perfect time to add it to the courgettes and the salmon and bring the whole pan back to temperature over the heat. Cooking the pasta in the sauce for he last couple of minutes infuses the sauce flavour into the pasta. Possibly even more importantly, the pasta and a little pasta water, adds a silkiness to the sauce. It may be necessary to add a little more pasta water if the sauce needs to be loosened slightly. If cooking on the BGE this last stage needs to be done with the lid open.
The pasta is ready to serve onto warm plates. Italians would not usually chose to add Parmesan cheese to this dish and in reality it doesn’t need it!!
……………….do give it a go!
Inspired by a recipe for Tagliatelle with Sea Bass, Zucchini, basal and Capers:- by Theo Randall in his book ‘Pasta’ ISBN: 9780091929008
Fettuccini with courgettes and salmon
A perfect blend of salmon, zucchini and pasta
- 150g courgettes/zucchini
- Olive oil
- 1 garlic clove finely sliced
- 100-150g fresh salmon - skin removed and sliced into strips (0.75cm)
- A few chopped basil leaves
- 1 tbsp of drained capers
- Around 150-250g dried Fettuccini
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Step 1 Cut the courgettes into 1cm rounds and then cut into batons – usually three to a disc.
- Step 2 Set up the BGE for direct cooking at around 180C. Heat the olive oil in a handleless pan such as the Tefal Ingenio. Add the sliced garlic and cook for1 minute. Add the courgettes and cook for around 5 minutes, tossing them a few times until they are a light golden colour.
- Step 3 Add the sliced salmon followed by the basil and capers and a little seasoning. Cook for 2-3 minutes then remove the pan from the heat.
- Step 4 The pasta should be cooked until (quite) ‘al dente’ – probably 1-2 mins less than the stated cooking time. Add the pasta to the courgettes and salmon and place back on the heat so the pasta cooks in the sauce for the last few minutes. Add a little pasta water and evaporate off as necessary to add silkiness to the sauce. Add more pasta water if the sauce needs to be loosened slightly. If cooking on the BGE this last stage needs to be done with the lid open.
- Step 5 Serve on warmed plates