Definition of “Cor”:
Expressing surprise, excitement, admiration, or alarm.‘Cor! That’s a beautiful black eye you’ve got!’
See? Courgette chips.
And this is the white and utterly boring part of the courgette that I would normally throw away.
Instead, genius idea aha!, I added them to the water cooking the whole courgettes. They would serve to flavour the water. This water could then be used to make a vegetable soup. Waste not, want not.
Back to the wok-pan. I added some more evoo, a tiny bit of red chilli and the courgette chips that I had cut into dices. Well, when I say ‘dices’ I mean what you see above. Do sprinkle quite a bit of salt at this point.
Operation tart up was coming along nicely now. The pasta water at the back, to the right, being brought to the boil. Diced courgette chips being sautéd over a high heat in the middle. The crisp guanciale to the right. And the courgettes simmering to the left at the back.
I squeezed some tomato paste (concentrato di pomodoro) into a mixing bowl. Tomato paste is all about umami and reinforcement of ‘other’ flavours, and I tend to use it rather a lot. Think of it as a team builder.
The simmered courgettes. Thoroughly mushy at this point.
A little of their cooking water.
All mashed up. And not looking very attractive either but never mind, we’ll fix that later. Add a pinch of salt, taste, make sure it tastes okay and then set aside.
Now that the pasta water started boiling, and I added the coarse see salt as well as the pasta, things can start coming together in the wok pan. At 12 o’clock we have the courgette purée, with a blob of butter that will soon melt added to it, at 3 o’clock a chiffonade of fresh basil leaves as well as parsley, at 6 o’clock we have the guanciale and, finally, at 9 o’clock we have the sautéed diced courgettes. Turn the heat up high. Combine all the ingredients. Freshly milled black pepper, if you like. I like.
Drain the pasta directly into the wok pan. Keep the heat high.
Toss the pasta if you are able to or use two wooden spoons to combine all the ingredients.
Add some of the pasta water to the pasta. One or two ladlefuls.
Grated parmigiano reggiano.
Sprinkle the parmigiano liberally and keep stirring with the wooden spoon and adding water as required.
Ready. Ready to be served. And enjoyed of course! Why else bother …