Nigel Slater’s recipe for bucatini with spinach and courgettes

Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for oyster mushroom tacos

A quick pasta supper with summer vegetables and crème fraîche.

Wash 200g of young spinach leaves. While the leaves are still wet, put them in a saucepan, cover tightly with a lid and let them cook over a moderate heat for a minute or two, just until the leaves are starting to wilt. Lift the lid and turn them over with kitchen tongs, then cook for a further minute till soft and emerald green.

Immediately plunge the leaves into iced water, then squeeze out most of the water with your hands. Roughly chop and set aside.

Bring a large, deep pan of water to the boil. Salt it generously, then use it to cook 200g of bucatini, spaghetti or similar thin pasta till al dente.

Peel and crush a clove of garlic. Cut a large courgette in half lengthways, then in half again and then into thin slices. Cook till translucent in a little olive oil in a shallow pan – about 10 minutes. Add the garlic. When the courgettes start to soften, after 4 or 5 minutes, and the garlic has turned pale gold remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.

Wipe the pan, then add 200g of crème fraîche and warm gently over a moderate heat. Add 150g of frozen peas and then the chopped spinach.

Drain the pasta, leaving 2 tbsp of cooking water behind with the pasta. Add the pasta and the reserved water to the vegetable sauce and toss gently then divide between 2 bowls. Serve with a little grated parmesan or pecorino and a lemon half for squeezing. Enough for 2.

If you are using fresh peas, then cook them in a little boiling, lightly salted water before adding to the courgettes.

As the young marrows come into season, this is a good way to use them. The skin is thicker than that of a courgette, so remove it with a vegetable peeler before slicing.

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