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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Life can get in the way of blogging. Sure things have been quiet around here, but the eating has continued, even if the backlog of posts steadily grows.

And whilst eating out is always fun, the best type of meal is always a home-cooked one. There's nothing more satisfying than converting a jumble of random ingredients into a delicious meal. I love the flexibility and speed of pasta, and within an hour of arriving home the other night, I was happily twirling strands of lemony al dente spaghetti, tossed through with squeaky slices of crisp haloumi and tender sweet strips of zucchini, a chilled glass of gewurtztraminer on the side.

Lemon spaghetti with char grilled zucchini strips and pan-fried haloumi

2-3 medium zucchini (courgettes)
200g haloumi cheese
olive oil
2 cloves garlic
3-6 anchovies
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped coarsely
500g spaghetti

Slice zucchini lengthwise into 1cm thick strips. Dress lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook both sides on a cast-iron griddle until tender. Set aside.

Slice haloumi thinly and pan-fry without oil in a non-stick frypan until the slices are golden. Set aside.

Slice garlic thinly and pan-fry in a little olive oil with the fresh breadcrumbs until golden. Set aside.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve one cup of pasta water, then drain the cooked pasta.

Gently fry the anchovies in a tablespoon or two of olive oil until melted. Add the pasta, zucchini, haloumi and parsley. Add just enough of the reserved pasta water to stop the pasta drying out. If your frypan is small, you may wish to mix everything in smaller, or individual, batches.

Dish up onto plates. Garnish generously with the grated lemon zest and a cheerful splash of lemon juice. Serve with plenty of freshly cracked pepper and your favourite salt flakes.
15 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/08/2008 08:28:00 pm


  • At 4/08/2008 11:30 pm, Blogger Rachel said…

    Sounds yummy. Welcome back! Was almost thinking you were going to wait until after the lovedale long lunch to do your next post ;)

  • At 4/08/2008 11:45 pm, Blogger syn said…

    This sounds wonderful! Fresh flavours and all that. I might try this tomorrow since I actually have all the ingredients (and the zucchini needs to be used soon) and maybe add some rocket to it. Thanks Helen!

    Oh and after watching many of the Gordon Ramsey kitchen nightmare shows and that Chopping Block series, we've recently been feeling a little bit less enthusiastic about eating out, so home cooking is looking even better! :)

  • At 4/09/2008 4:47 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ooh I'm very hungry right now and this sounds so good!

  • At 4/09/2008 10:08 am, Blogger RecipeGirl said…

    Sounds quite delicious, and your description of the chilled glass of G. has me running to the fridge for a before-dinner drinkie. :)

  • At 4/09/2008 10:57 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That seems to be good. If hving time, i will try.

  • At 4/09/2008 11:27 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ah you have returned! i have missed your posts very much but i know what its like to stop and have to spend time editing and writing up a post. did you go to the easter show?

  • At 4/09/2008 2:03 pm, Blogger OohLookBel said…

    I like how you make it sound so easy and ad hoc. But that's the way it's supposed to be, isn't it - just throw some ingredients together at the last minute, dress it with some cheerful lemon juice and hoe in!

  • At 4/10/2008 8:44 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So glad to see that you're back. Can't wait to keep reading more stories! The pasta sounds great-I'm a sucker for anything with squeaky halloumi in it!

  • At 4/10/2008 10:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Welcome back! We've missed you and look forward to trying the yummy sounding pasta recipe.

  • At 4/11/2008 11:57 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Rachel - lol. I was tempted :)

    Hi Syn - Ooh yes I love a bit of rocket. It always makes a sandwich into something special.

    Yes those restaurant series can often be sobering, but at the same time they do make you appreciate how much you do take for granted when you have a great meal that's delicious at a reaonable price with great service :)

    Hi foodhoe - It was very tasty. Spaghetti always is!

    Hi Recipegirl - lol. I'm not a huge drinker but gerwurtztraminer... ah that's easy drinking!

    Hi Anon - I hope you do. Pasta recipes can always be adapted to whatever you have in the fridge.

    Hi chocolatesuze - I think that's the longest break I'd had in four years without having the excuse of being overseas. lol. I didn't get to the Easter Show this year, but I am looking forward to the Good Food Show (except I missed out on tickets to Gordon. Argh!)

    Hi Belle - Absolutely. I often make pasta using "fridge specials". It all tastes good when you add some olive oil and garlic!

    Hi Lorraine - Thanks. I do admire your posting dedication - everyday? How do you do it? And yep, I adore squeaky haloumi. I love it for breakfast too with toast, scrambled eggs and grilled tomatoes.

    Hi Anon - Aww thanks. I hope you enjoy a big plate of pasta sometime soon!

  • At 4/12/2008 11:25 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I do post every day as it's a bit of an obsession. I am never one to do things in halves. My husband keeps pointing out to me that I'll run out of things to blog about which is true but I can't help myself. Call it a sickness...

    I am really looking forward to the Good Food Show too, we got pretty good seats to see Gordon Ramsay. If only I had known you wanted tickets to see him... I had 5 extra tickets for Row B :(

  • At 4/12/2008 4:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    bwahaha sadly my mother and i were misguided enough to think we'd be up and running our factory by now and its slowly dawning on us that we will not have enough biscuits for the good food show

  • At 4/12/2008 10:17 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Lorraine - I don't think you'd ever run out of things to blog about! The enthusiasm does wane for me though. The eating continues regardless.

    And omg, I can't believe you had extra tickets! We foolishly waited until Day 2 to buy them so we could coordinate with friends. Dash and dang! I'm consoling myself with my front row memories of Gordon at the DJ Food Hall :)

    Hi chocolatesuze - Wow. You were planning on having a stand at The Good Food Show? Sounds like things are going well for you. I admire your tenacity and hard work. If only biscuits really did grow on trees!! :)

  • At 4/13/2008 10:40 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'll confess something a little embarrassing. I set an alarm on my phone to be in front of the computer at 8.45am the day they went on sale (at 9am) and I made sure that I was there when they started selling the tickets. Although they did start selling them at 8.50am a bit earlier!

    I first bought Row B tickets but I really wanted Row A so I tried again and some Row A appeared so I bought those two and ended up with two sets of tickets :lol: But it seems everyone wants a piece of Gordon now so it was easy to sell the Row B tickets.

    I do remember your Gordon post at David Jones-you got some great photos and were spot on about the Mr Darcy effect!

  • At 4/20/2008 9:50 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Lorraine - Wow, you're in Row A? Totally jealous! Make sure you volunteer to help on-stage so you can score a goodie bag :)


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