Zucchini Linguini with Pancetta and Homemade Ricotta

We don't eat a lot of pasta in the Gourmet Male household but lately I've been contemplating creating a light summer dish with linguini. So when I recently made some homemade ricotta I spotted a perfect opportunity to create a new dish. It's a twist of a couple recipes I've tried in the past but with a few added components that I think make it a knock out meal. And just perfect for summer. It's zucchini linguini with pancetta and homemade ricotta. 

zucchini linguini.jpg

To make it, you'll need (serves 2):

  • 250g fresh or quality linguini
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 2 slices pancetta
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • handful chopped mint and parsley
  • 4 tbsp homemade ricotta
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt, pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. While the water is heating up, mince the garlic and zest the lemon. I swear by a Microplane, by the way. Grate the zucchini with the large holes on a box grater. It should look like this:


Crisp the pancetta slices in a grill oven and then chop roughly and set aside. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and also set aside.

Once the water is boiling drop the pasta in and cook for approximately 8 minutes. While the pasta is cooking heat up a small frying pan with the olive oil. Sautee the garlic for a minute and then add the lemon zest and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and fry for about 3 minutes.

Once the pasta is al dente, drain it and reserve a bit of the cooking liquid. Toss in the zucchini mix and 3/4s of the ricotta and mix. Add a bit of the cooking liquid to the pasta and then mix once more. Plate the pasta, adding the cherry tomatoes and pancetta and a little of the ricotta on the side. Serve and enjoy! 

Lunch at Max's - Scallops, Roast, Potatoes

My work colleague and friend Max and his wife have recently moved into a new place and we popped over for lunch recently. To start, how about the view??


I know that Max loves his food but I didn't realise how much of kindred spirits we really are. Firstly, his cooking library is extensive and he has many of the titles that I have in mine. But his cooking is fantastic and while we thought we were coming over for a casual lunch he started cooking at 6am!

We started with our homemade wholemeal bread and Tetsuya's truffle butter (those recipes to come soon). That was a good start as the entree was pan seared scallops topped with crispy pancetta, on a bed of creamed corn with truffle oil. The scallops were perfectly cooked and the crispiness of the pancetta really offset the creamed corn.


The main course was long roasted beef on a bed of vegetables and bay leaves. It had cooked slow and long enough that the bones literally pulled out of the finished roast. The meat just pulled apart with a fork and was very juicy. I'll have to ask for the details of how it remained so juicy after so much time.


On the side we had some roasted potatoes and a salad. The salad was rocket and baby spinach, roasted pine nuts, lychees (lychees!!), parmesan, and jamon. It was dressed with a lychee vinaigrette. I was so into my meal by this point that I forgot to grab a photo. It was fantastic and the colours and contrasts certainly were unique.


To finish we had my baked blueberry cheesecakes. That recipe will come soon as well.

We had a great afternoon with amazing food and good friends. It was a hell of a lot of work for Max and his wife but it just goes to show that it's a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.